The weather is getting colder and the nights darker much earlier, winter is on the way and Christmas is approaching fast. This is a magical time of year with people celebrating and having fun, however, as with any other time of year, the risks don’t go away they simply change.
Below are my Christmas safety tips, I hope they are helpful and allow us all to enjoy a fire safe Christmas.
· Make sure any Christmas tree lights have the British Standard kitemark.
· NEVER put candles in or near the tree.
· Don’t remove the smoke alarm batteries to use in Christmas presents – a smoke alarm is useless if it has no power. Every year people die because they did not have a working smoke alarm.
· Do not leave your cooking unattended – here are two reasons for this, a risk of fire and the risk of serious injury to children who touch hot stoves and pans.
· If you have people staying for the Christmas period make sure they know your family escape plan.
· Put cigarettes out properly – smoking materials are still the single biggest cause of fatal fires.
· Decorations can burn very easily; don’t attach them to anything hot, such as lights or heaters.
· Tidy away wrapping paper and packaging, they are flammable.
· Make sure you keep your exits clear.
· Keep candles, lighters and matches out of reach of children.
· NEVER leave candles unattended.
· Don’t overload electrical sockets. Remember 1 socket = 1 plug
· Make sure that any open fires have a fireguard.
· Take the time to check on elderly neighbours or relatives this Christmas, they are at greater risk from fire.
These are the things to be aware of during Christmas, however, if you are planning on a party there is more to consider:
Did you know…
· Every year in England 900 accidental fires are started by candles.
· Around 100 house fires are started every year by fireworks.
· Smoking materials are still the biggest cause of fatal fires.
Please also try to follow this advice…
· If people at your party are going to smoke, make sure you have enough ash trays and that the cigarettes are out. A cigarette burns at 700C, more than enough to start a fire.
· Make sure everyone knows where the door keys are and what the fire plan is.
· Alcohol slows you down, slows your reactions and can make you sleepy, these things all add to the dangers.
· If you want to use fireworks for your party make sure you follow the firework code. Safe firework use information is easily available via an internet search.
· Keep candles away from anything that may burn, such as curtains; and put them out before you go to bed.
· Light bulbs get very hot and can cause fires, don’t let them come into contact with anything flammable such as paper decorations.
Be safe, look after yourself and your loved ones.
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service