Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott and Member for Castle Hill Dominic Perrottet are urging families to take time and plan their Christmas carefully to ensure a safe and stress-free break.
Mr Elliott said Christmas holidays should be the time to relax and enjoy quality family time whether travelling, buying and giving presents, concert going, cheering on your favourite sporting team or enjoying the Christmas spirit within the Hills community.
“Poor planning and lack of awareness can sometimes turn a holiday into a nightmare,” Mr Elliott said.
“When it comes to purchasing gifts, there are simple steps people can take to make sure their money doesn’t go to waste, including checking the expiry date on gift cards, reading the card’s terms and conditions, and making sure the value of the card is clearly displayed.
“Before you buy entry to a venue, find out if you can bring your own food and drink as entry restrictions may apply.
“Remember to ask traders, especially accommodation providers, to lift holding deposits from credit cards when you pay the account.”
Mr Perrottet said that, while Christmas is a fun and joyous time for children, extra care needs to be taken to protect children in the holiday period.
“If holidaying with children away from home ensure your accommodation and environment is safe,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Supervise children at all times, particularly around open windows and balconies. Lock all doors and windows when they are not in use. Tie unsecured blind and curtain cords out of reach of children.
“As households now starting to put up their Christmas trees, Christmas lights and decorations, to take care this Christmas and prevent electrical accidents, such as overloading power points.
“Overloading power points, power boards and double adaptors in an attempt to add some extra lights is very dangerous and can cause a fire.
“Around half the home fires recorded last year involved electrical equipment.
“Christmas is a time to celebrate, not experience the heartache of seeing your home go up in flames just because you tried to get a little extra sparkle on the Christmas tree.
“To ensure Christmas lights do not pose a safety risk, anyone using Christmas lights should:
- Use only decorative lights that have an Australian Standard label;
- Use only one item per power socket and avoid piggyback plugs;
- Ensure that power leads and boards are in good working order;
- Fully unwind extension cords before use as they may overheat;
- Replace damaged cords and older style plugs; and
- Never use dual male-ended cords.
“Fair Trading is there to help and that people can avoid the misery of disputes if they simply make themselves aware of their rights and obligations when purchasing holiday packages and gift cards.” Mr Perrottet said.