Yes, December is upon us and that means Christmas decorations and festive lights starting to spring up in homes like daffodils in the spring. Obviously many retail outlets have had theirs up since August! And even before November had made way for December, I had seen many houses adorned with festive lights. However, more sensible people don’t really start to decorate their homes or offices until the twelfth month of the year arrives.
Waking up this morning, December 1st, to a slight covering of snow in my town was like having a white Christmas. I know the rest of the country has had snow for a few days and had a lot of it, but where I live, if we get snow which settles for more than 24 hours, it has been a harsh winter!
Even so, this one centimetre of snow caused enough chaos for it to have been one foot. My train was cancelled; schools were closed and roads were blocked!
However, leaving the snow aside for another day (although it will be gone by then!), I eventually arrived at the office this morning only to be greeted by a warning. Not a severe weather warning, but a warning about Christmas decorations in the office.
I am currently contracting at a public sector office and having worked in the private sector for many years, sometimes struggle with all the red tape!
And the latest bit of red tape concerned putting Christmas decorations up in offices which are fitted with motion detectors or PIR (Passive Infra Red) Sensors, to give them their technical name! The warning was issued to staff advising them not to put up decorations which may ‘move’ in the air, as they might trigger the motion detectors and set off the alarms.
Staff are being advised to only decorate their offices with fixed decorations so that designated key holders do not get called out in the early hours when a hanging decoration has triggered the intruder alarm.
I noticed in the warning there were no directives on the use of festive lights, and I wonder how long it will be before the powers-that-be issue advice on how to put up lights.
Should a qualified electrician plug them in?
Have they been tested to ensure they are fit for use?
No one has started to put up any decorations in the office yet, but I’m expecting to see them fixed to the walls with six inch nails to prevent any movement! This wreath will be OK, because it already has enough red tape on it! 😉
We do, however, have a Christmas tree suspended outside the window over looking the street below. This was put up by the local council. It doesn’t look very secure, and the lead supplying power to the lights comes through our window and is plugged in to one of our power sockets.
Note to self: do not turn off the town’s Christmas lights on my way out of the office! 😉