Have yourself a safe and merry little Christmas

Your home

No one wants to be the Grinch this time of year but unfortunately, we have to be a little bit sometimes. And because we want everyone to have a safe, happy and healthy festive season, we have some top tips for a cool yule.

Christmas ASB

If you like it then you shouldn’t put a wreath on it

Let’s start with the reindeer in the room. If you live anywhere with shared communal space – courtyard, hallway, staircase, etc. - you are not allowed to decorate the outside of your home backing onto that communal area. Why? Because we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any item – not just Christmas decorations – in communal spaces.

It’s not because we don’t want you to celebrate Christmas – or any other occasion – it’s because items left in communal spaces can cause problems if there is an emergency. So, while wreaths are not necessarily hazards, bikes, shoes and shoe racks, doormats and any number of other items we see in communal areas are. That’s why we have the policy.

Yes, wreaths and other festive accoutrements are innocent victims of the policy, but it’s clearer to say no to everything than debate the merits of every potential communal hazard.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire hazard

The festive season brings with it a range of fire hazards you might not necessarily consider the other 11 or so months of the year. If you’re displaying your menorah in the window – as is traditional – make sure your curtains and any other flammable materials are well clear. And, as with other naked flames, don’t leave them unattended or somewhere where a child or animal could knock them over.

Make sure your Christmas lights are safe and working as they should be. This includes making sure you don’t overload the power point, that you are using outdoor lights outside and indoor lights inside, and that you replace any blown lights immediately to prevent overheating. And like candles, don’t leave your lights on when you go out or go to bed – Santa will still be able to find your tree without them.

Do they hear what you hear?

Who doesn’t love a festive get together? If you’re having a COVID-friendly get together, please make sure you keep the noise down - particularly in communal areas – and turn the music off at a respectable time. You might not want the bells to end, but your neighbours may not feel the same after 11pm!

Once in royal COVID’s Christmas

COVID restrictions have been tough on everyone, and maybe no tougher than they will be during the festive season. We ask everyone to please respect the government guidelines in your area, and each other as we try to spend Christmas with our loved ones.

If you are concerned about a neighbour breaking the government’s guidelines, you can report them to the police online. But bear in mind, the police are unlikely to take any action unless there is an extreme breach of the restrictions.

Look out for those on the naughty list

Most of us will do a lot of our Christmas shopping online this year, which means being aware of porch pirates – thieves who steal other people’s deliveries. Many online retailers will allow you to pick a delivery timeslot or rearrange delivery if you aren’t going to be home when you thought you might be.

It could also be a good time to take a mince pie or two to the neighbours in exchange for them receiving your parcels for you.

Bingle all the way

And with all the joy of food, presents, decorations and other festive festivities comes rubbish. Big presents come in big boxes, so remember to break them down before you put them in the bin.

Likewise, most councils will have a pick-up service or drop-off point for your Christmas tree so don’t just dump them outside your house or in the bin room and hope that someone else will deal with it. Trees properly disposed of are composted or chipped to be used in parks and woodlands. Aside from this being much kinder to the environment, fly tipping costs you more and more money each year. A little bit of thought when disposing of your waste can go a long way to big savings.

Need to get in touch with us?

Find out when we’re open over the festive period, how you can contact us and who to speak to in an emergency.

How to get in contact with us this festive season