WATCH OUT FOR THESE 4 UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS SAFETY RISKS

‘Tis the season to be vigilant. There are a surprising number of safety risks that are wrapped up with Christmas.

Christmas is a joyous time but it’s rarely stress-free. And that’s just with the usual fuss of multiple events, decorating, and gift buying.

Throw a car prang or pinched present into the mix and it’s enough to make anyone feel like a lump of coal.

To save you a little stress this Christmas, we’ve rounded up our top watch-outs for the festive season.

1. Carpark prangs

According to RAC claims data, Christmas and the new year is when most carpark prangs happen.

December 2021 saw 2,426 carpark collision claims, the highest of any month that year and a 14 per cent increase on claims compared to the previous month.

Claims generally peak on the 23rd of December and Christmas Eve—which is no surprise with hordes of last-minute shoppers whizzing around carparks for last minute gifts.

Want to avoid a Christmas prang? Get in early and skip the last-minute shop.

2. House fires

House fires are another risk around the silly season. Over the past four years, house fire claims have spiked around December to February.

Unless it’s happened to you or someone you know, it can be hard to imagine why house fires happen beyond the obvious: Candles, fireplaces, and bar heaters.

According to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), all those concerns are things of the past.

It’s batteries and electrical appliances that are now the biggest concern. Spare fridges overheating in hot sheds and garages and overcharging your battery-operated appliances are just some of the unexpected fire risks around your home.

Devices with rechargeable batteries are commonly overlooked fire hazards. Lithium-ion batteries are particularly dangerous—and they’re everywhere, from your phone to your laptop. When used with the wrong charger or overcharged, these batteries can generate excessive heat and ignite. With lots of visitors coming through your home over Christmas, keep an eye on who’s charging what, when, and how to avoid a fire over the festive season and never leave devices charging when you’re not at home.

RELATED: How to reduce fire risks from your devices »

RELATED: Tips to prevent house fires »

3. Dangerous driving

Sadly, road fatalities and non-fatal crashes also peak around Christmas and the new year.

Our claims data shows December and January are the most common times of year for crashes caused by drink driving and drug use.

In 2021, we received 86 car insurance claims where alcohol or drug use was a factor. And these claims are increasing year-on-year.

While you’re visiting family and friends this Christmas, always find a safe way to get home, avoid drinking if you do need to drive, and be safe on our roads.

4. Christmas burglaries

The festive period is a prime time for burglaries, with holiday-makers leaving their houses unoccupied for long periods as well as plenty of online shopping deliveries left on doorsteps.

WA Police crime statistics show an increase in burglaries in the lead up to Christmas, with a spike in January each year.

Common claims over the festive period include jewellery, electrical equipment, computers and accessories, bikes, and tools.

Gifts bought online and left out in the open are particularly vulnerable.

Save yourself the stress of a break-in or missing gifts by checking out our tips to prevent a Christmas burglary.

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