Don't Let Fire Ruin Festive
IT'S the most wonderful time of the
year: Christmas dinner, giving presents, decorating your home; there's so much
to think about at this time of year… and that's before the festivities even get
started! 1 thing Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to
put at the top of their Christmas to do lists this year is fire safety.
While fire safety is important the whole year round, the extra distractions of
Christmas make vigilance especially important. MFRS is asking people to take
extra care over Christmas, when the winter weather can bring its own challenges,
to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.
Mark Thomas, Prevention Group Manager for MFRS, said:- "Christmas should
be a fun 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. We want everyone to enjoy a Merry Christmas and we
urge all to keep fire safety at the top of your list. Ensure you place candles
in suitable holders and away from curtains and festive decorations, never leave
cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms. The colder weather
brings its own dangers too. Take care when using portable heaters or open fires
to keep warm and always look out for elderly neighbours, friends and relatives."
Here are some tips to help you and your family enjoy
the joys of Christmas safely:-
► Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of
fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Many of us enjoy a merry
tipple over the festive season but be sure to avoid cooking whilst under the
influence of alcohol. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished
► Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of
children and pets, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires,
lights and heaters.
► Never use heaters to dry clothes. Heaters can start fires when things
are replaced too close to them. Keep them well away from curtains, clothing and
► 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,
► Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your
home. A working alarm can give you the vital time needed to escape in a fire.
Test your smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries.
► Put your cigarette out, right out. Make sure your cigarette is fully
extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired. It's
very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and this can set
► Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed,
or leave the house. Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British
Standard (BS EN 60598) and are in good working order before use.
► 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 as they are at greater risk from fire.
► Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in case of fire;
in the event of fire you should get out, stay out and call:- 999.