Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is working with the national Fire Kills campaign to urge local people to have fire safety at the top of their Christmas list!
In December 2011, there were more accidental fires in the home in England than in any other month – the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.
Watch Manager Neil Chamberlain, from the community safety department, said: “Christmas is a time for having fun with family and friends, but it is also a time when extra fire hazards are introduced to the home, such as fairy lights, candles and decorations. We want people to be safe and enjoy the holidays, which is why we are providing safety advice wherever we can.”
The Service has been out and about in Swindon and Wiltshire to promote home fire safety, including these top tips:
· Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. A working alarm can give you the vital time needed to escape from a fire. Test your smoke alarm weekly and never remove batteries to power presents!
· Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire.
· Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol and always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
· Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, candles, cards ad wrapping paper.
· Don’t overload sockets – ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they’re not in use, except those that are designed to be left on (e.g. freezers).
· Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house. Check your lights conform to British Standard BS EN 60598.
· Always use a 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 purchased in any DIY store.
· Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call 999.
For further advice on staying fire safe, visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk