Keeping Santa Safe on the Roof
We’ve come to that time of the year when a big, fat, jolly man with a white beard, wearing a red suit comes to visit every home here in the UK. His mode of travel is rather unusual – he rides in a sleigh pulled by a team of reindeer. Amazingly, his sleigh travels through the skies above our homes and the leader of his pack of reindeer has a glowing red nose! The fat man’s name is Father Christmas, aka Santa Claus and his reindeer are called Rudolph (with the red nose), Dasher, Dander, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Santa visits every home in the world to leave presents for the children who have been good all year.
No need to leave the door ajar or the key in the lock, Santa has his own way of accessing our homes on Christmas Eve – he climbs down the chimneys and into the living rooms of everybody. You’ll need to make sure the fire is out before you go to bed to make sure Santa doesn’t burn his bum. Santa will probably need a little sustenance to see him on his way and make sure he has enough energy to visit every home on the planet – it’s a really difficult job to get done in the space on one night. Get your children to leave out a plate of mince pies and a glass or milk (or brandy) for Santa to keep him going.
Now, to get down the chimneys, Santa parks his sleigh on the roofs of the houses and, as we all know, that can be considered as working at height. However, most of us don’t have any safe access equipment for Santa to use – after all, it would be an expensive proposition installing a load of safety equipment that’s only going to be used once a year. There are no guard rails to make sure Santa doesn’t topple off the edge of the roof. Santa has no personal protective equipment, no harnesses, nothing to keep himself safe while undertaking the risky business of prancing around on the roofs of the land. If you have a flat roof for Santa to land on, then there’s probably no need to go to the expense of installing a rooftop demarcation barrier system to protect Santa and his crew – they will land really close to the nearest opening skylight and gain access that way.
The reindeers are sure footed enough to keep themselves safe from harm while waiting for Santa to do the business and, if they were to slip, then they can fly so they can save themselves from a fall by flying up into the air. Despite the fact that there are no ladders in our chimneys, Santa manages just fine – I think he’s probably fat enough that he fills the chimney and slides down slowly. How he gets back up again is anybody’s guess.
One thing we can do to help out Santa and his reindeer is to make sure our roofs are well-maintained and can bear the weight once a year. After all, many falls from height involve a fragile roof that has not been properly maintained.