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Top three causes of December house fires in Northamptonshire revealed

A lit match

The top three causes of household fires for last December are being revealed by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) in a drive to urge people to celebrate Christmas safely.

The top three causes of domestic fires for December 2018 were:

1) Cooker and oven fires (11 fires)
2) Matches (5 fires)
3) Smoking materials (3 fires)

In total, firefighters attended 30 fires at people’s homes last December and would like to remind residents about the safety measures to take to avoid fires.

Tina Collett, district liaison officer for NFRS, said: “We’ve been running our Christmas fire safety campaign, ‘Crackers, not calamities,’ since the beginning of December as it is so important to us people know what to do to cut the risk of fires in their homes.

“Christmas can be a high risk time for fires because there are simply so many distractions and also all of those seasonal risk elements such as candles, increased levels of cooking and also the consumption of alcohol which can impact on concentration and coordination.

“The top three causes of fires for last December can typically be risky areas throughout the year, but there are steps people can take to prevent these from happening. I hope people will take note of our safety tips and keep as safe as possible while enjoying a peaceful and safe Christmas.”

Fire prevention safety tips



  • Keep cooking hobs and pans clean, to avoid build-up of grease
  • Keep tea towels away from hobs
  • Save any alcoholic drinks until after the cooking is done
  • Keep an eye on the cooking, don’t leave it unattended


Matches and smoking:

  • Never leave children unattended when there are matches, lighters or naked flames in the room
  • Always ensure that cigarettes and matches are fully extinguished
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Use a proper ashtray – never a wastepaper basket
  • Make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn.
  • Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around.  They can easily fall over and start a fire.
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking.  You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.
  • Keep candles, lighters and matches out of children’s reach

To watch our Christmas fire safety video, see below.

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