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Fire safety at Christmas

Published: 29 November 2018

Top tips to keep you safe this Christmas

With the festive season celebrations well and truly underway, it's time to start thinking about how to be safe whilst enjoying them. There is nothing quite like the warm smell of a scented candle on a wintry night or the lovely image of a brightly lit tree, but these festive additions, although pleasant, can also be major fire risks.

Check out our top fire safety tips to make sure your family and loved ones have a safe yet merry Christmas.

Firstly - check all the smoke alarms in your home to make sure they are working.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

  • Many of us enjoy a festive drink, but excessive alcohol consumption can cause major fires and lead to fire related casualties so avoid cooking if you've been drinking.
  • Most fires start in the kitchen so when cooking your turkey and all the tasty trimmings, never leave your cooking unattended.
  • Accidents can happen when we're distracted – keep cooking pans and handles out of children's reach.

Rockin' around the Christmas tree…

It wouldn't be Christmas without a tree, but remember:

  • Christmas decorations can catch fire easily so never attach them to lights, heaters or any other flammable products.
  • Do not place your tree close to a fireplace or any other heat source.
  • Take a look at this film to see how quickly a fire caused by Christmas tree lights can spread.

A candle in the window to shine bright…

On wintry nights nothing makes a room feel cosy like a candle, but don't forget:

  • Always keep candles, lighters and matches safely out of children's reach.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended, and make sure you put them out before bed.
  • Always keep candles away from upholstery, curtains, fabrics and furniture.
  • Keep hair and clothing away from lit candles – with the drinks flowing you may need to be extra careful.
  • Never place candles near the Christmas tree.
  • Make sure candles and tea lights are only used in suitable candle holders and never placed directly onto any surface.

Streets at night lit by fairy lights…

  • Always switch off and unplug your external lights before you go to bed or leave your home.
  • Make sure you buy your lights from a reputable retailer and check they carry the British Safety Standard sign.
  • Never overload electrical plug sockets.

Lonely this Christmas…

  • Lastly please don't forget to check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas, as they are potentially at greater risk from fire.

Don't forget you can book a free Safe and well visit online or by calling 0800 085 0767. The visits combine home safety checks to reduce the risk of fire in your home and information and advice on how to cope in an emergency.

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