Don’t Let Fire Ruin Festive Cheer this Christmas!

Christmas dinner, wrapping presents, decorating your home – there’s lots to think about at Christmas! While fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season. This is why Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to put fire safety at the top of their Christmas lists this year.

Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager, Moreno Francioso said: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But fairy lights, candles and decorations means it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire. The colder weather brings its own menaces too. Take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm, and think about how you can help vulnerable neighbours and friends keep warm and well in the cold weather.

“We’ll be sharing safety advice and attending community events throughout December- keep an eye on our social media accounts for top tips and to see when we’ll be near you!”

Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety added: “We hope that everyone Warwickshire has a very merry, and safe, Christmas. We don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits, but it is important to remember that the things we all enjoy at this time of year can pose a fire risk.

“We’d particularly like to remind people to take care when cooking. A house full of family and friends can be distracting and fire starts when your attention stops, so make sure you don’t leave cooking unattended. Make sure that everyone visiting or staying in your home knows what to do in a fire and how to get out of the property quickly.”

Follow these tips top keep safe this festive season:

  • Always turn fairy/Christmas tree lights off and remove the plug at night, and when the room is going to be unoccupied for a length of time
  • Ensure lights carry the British Safety Standard mark
  • Do not overload plug sockets
  • Ensure candles are in proper holders so they can’t fall over, and do not leave lit candles unattended for any length of time
  • Make sure open fires are well guarded and that wrapping paper, decorations etc., are kept well away
  • Make sure smokers extinguish their cigarettes completely
  • Take extra care after drinking alcohol
  • Push the button, not your luck – Check your smoke alarms are working and don’t be tempted to use the batteries to power any Christmas presents
  • Make your plan. Get out alive – will everyone (including guests) know where your door and window keys are kept?
  • Don’t be distracted when cooking – fire starts when your attention stops.

For more information about home fire safety this Christmas visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/celebratesafely