With just a week until Christmas, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has released 12 top tips for ho-ho-home safety over the festive period!
- Check your Christmas lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard. Never overload electrical sockets, and make sure outdoor lights are fitted with a residual current device.
- Always switch off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving the property.
- Never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings – and never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Decorations can burn easily – so don’t hang them near lights or heaters.
- Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.
- If you’re having a few festive drinks, take extra care in the kitchen. Never leave your Christmas dinner cooking unattended and make sure you switch off the oven and hob when the meal is done.
- Make sure any guests know what to do in the event of an emergency – do they know where door/window keys are kept and have you shown them the escape route?
- Many fires start when people fall asleep while smoking, so make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly – and never smoke in bed.
- If you’re planning on celebrating with fireworks, make sure you follow the instructions.
- Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm to power a new Christmas toy.
- Make sure you test your smoke alarm every week – and why not spread a little festive goodwill by checking on any elderly relatives, friends or neighbours as well.
- If you don’t already have one, get a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – this is essential in homes with gas appliances, real fires and/or woodburners.
Home safety manager Neil Chamberlain said: “Sadly, over the years, we have seen too many fires both locally and nationally during the Christmas period. With so many things to think about during the holidays, it’s all too easy to overlook fire safety but it should be at the top of the list. We want everyone to have a happy, enjoyable and safe Christmas, so we hope these top tips will be a handy reminder.”
Some households will qualify for a free home fire safety check from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service. To find out more, call 0800 389 7849 or visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk