'Tis the season to be wary, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Grandparents are highly inflammable and should be sprayed on arrival with some fireproofing agent
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The Independent Online

It's nearly Christmas again, the most dangerous time of year, and the government health and safety people have asked me, as they do every year, to spell out a few of the legal regulations that govern the festive period.

It's nearly Christmas again, the most dangerous time of year, and the government health and safety people have asked me, as they do every year, to spell out a few of the legal regulations that govern the festive period.

Remember, these rules are for the good of everyone, so do please observe them. After all, nobody wants to spend Christmas under arrest...

 

1. All Christmas trees over 4ft high and placed in an indoors situation must be fastened to prevent them falling over. This must be done either by clamping to the floor or lashing by line to the nearest wall. If trees are lashed to a wall, lights must be twined along the line and kept alight night and day to stop them becoming an ambulatory hazard.

 

2. Needles on trees have been classified a class II nuisance, as they can clog up vacuum cleaners or injure pets' feet. All trees must be sprayed with a stay-fast fixative to keep needles on trees for a minimum of a fortnight.

 

3. As some fixatives have inflammable qualities, to prevent the danger of fire, naked candles should never be used in the same room as any tree.

 

4. Because we can never guarantee that any Christmas tree is safe from fire, a small fire-extinguisher should always be positioned in any room where a Christmas tree is present.

 

5. Small fire extinguishers have been classified a health hazard and should be fastened to a wall to prevent them falling over and tripping passers-by.

 

6. It has now been established that flashing Christmas lights, although not yet illegal, are a potential health hazard in that they may awaken latent epilepsy in children in the same way that strobe lighting does, so all children in the same room as flashing lights should be issued with dark glasses or sunshades to shield them.

 

7. It has been established that children who wear sunshades or dark glasses to shield them from flashing lights and the possible epileptic effect, may find it more difficult to see where they are going and so fall over objects they would normally see, so they should be accompanied at all times by an adult or other responsible person with unimpaired vision.

 

8. Christmas crackers are classified as a class IV explosive device, which means they should not be left unattended in case any child, with or without dark glasses, should have a go at pulling and so detonating them. There is always a risk that a child who detonates an unattended cracker may cause a heart-attack in a nearby grandparent.

 

9. Grandparents have been reclassified as potentially highly inflammable and should be sprayed on arrival with some fireproofing agent. This is strongly recommended at all times of year.

 

10. Any gift vertical in shape and tall and thin, such as a CD tower, should be put away immediately after unwrapping. This is to avoid the danger of the CD tower - or other tall thin gift - tripping up any person carrying some potentially hazardous object such as a flaming Christmas pudding.

 

11. It has been established that flaming puddings cause more blazes at Christmas than almost anything else, besides candles; from next year it will be illegal to set fire to brandy or other spirituous liquor on a pudding.

11a. It will be possible next year to obtain battery-operated Christmas-Pudding Flame Effects, which can be affixed to puddings to simulate flaming brandy. Health and safety regs governing battery-operated Christmas Pudding Flame Effects will be issued in the course of AD 2001.

 

12. There may be enough snow to build a snowperson; snowpersons will be subject to the same protection against gender discrimination as any other person. Snowpersons are also subject to the same regulations as any other sculptures in public places; at least two prosecutions were brought against snowperson builders last year for construction of obscene statuary.

 

13. Bowls of nuts should be clearly labelled "These Nuts May Contain Nuts".

 

As long as we adhere to these (and many other ) guidelines, there is no reason why we shouldn't enjoy a carefree festive period. Happy Christmas!

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