Don’t let fire ruin Festive cheer this Christmas
Christmas dinner, wrapping presents, decorating your home – there is a lot to think about this Christmas. But Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and the national Fire Kills campaign are urging people to put fire safety at the top of their Christmas lists this year.
While fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant, so HWFRS is asking people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.
Station Commander Amy Bailey of the HWFRS Community Risk department said: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But fairy lights, candles and decorations mean it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire.
“Make sure you place candles in suitable holders and away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms.
“The colder weather brings its own menaces, too. Take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm.”
Here are some simple tips from the Fire Kills campaign to help you and your family enjoy the joys of Christmas safely:
- ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home. Test your smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries
- never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high-risk area
- never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters
- put your cigarette out, right out. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired.
- never use heaters to dry clothes. Heaters can start fires when things are placed too close to them. Keep them well away from curtains, clothing and furniture
- don’t overload sockets. Ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers
- ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house
- always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store
- do something good this Christmas. Test the smoke alarms of someone you know who may need help such as an older relative or neighbour to ensure their safety
- make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire – in the event of fire you should get out, stay out and call 999
- watch the Fire Kills campaign’s short Christmas Tree video at: http://youtu.be/hMtjGfr0tYs
“From everyone at HWFRS, we wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas,” said Station Commander Bailey.