Think fire safety this Christmas

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With Christmas around the corner, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has launched its annual campaign, urging people to keep safe during the festivities.

Cooking, candle use, alcohol consumption, the use of fairy lights and new electrical gadgets often help make the season fun, but they can also pose risks when it comes to fire safety, if people become careless or distracted.

Last December alone, firefighters from NFRS attended 10 fires which were believed to have been electrical.

Throughout 2019, firefighters attended 13 incidents in Northamptonshire linked to candle use, and six of these involved injuries/casualties.

At NFRS, firefighters and staff would like everyone in the community to have a fun-filled Christmas but would also like to remind people to remain alert and to take steps to prevent fires in the home.

Prevention Team Leader Darren Carson said: “This year has been such a challenging time for so many families and we know people will be looking forward to enjoying time with their loved ones – subject to slightly relaxed Covid-19 restrictions!

“But we hope these distractions don’t prevent people keeping attentive to fire safety in their homes. Fires can happen very quickly and easily. All it takes is someone forgetting about a candle, or falling asleep with cooking on, perhaps after having a couple of drinks. We are asking people to please enjoy the season, but to make sure they do that safely.”

Fire safety tips at Christmas:

Cooking

  • Kitchens can be very dangerous places for young children when food is being prepared. Never leave them alone in the kitchen when something is cooking on the hob. Make sure you keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach
  • Keep tea towels and oven gloves away from the cooker and hobs
  • It is always best to double check the cooker is off when you have finished cooking
  • Make sure you leave any alcohol consumption until after the cooking is finished

Electrics

  • Switch off Christmas lights at night as part of your bedtime routine. If you have a real Christmas tree, water it to prevent it drying out
  • Make sure you do not overload electrical sockets, check your plugs and wires for signs of damage
  • Remember Christmas decorations can set alight easily, so don’t attach them to lights or heaters
  • If getting ready for Christmas festivities, remember that hair straighteners can remain hot for a long time. Never leave them on beds or any other materials that could burn. Use purpose designed devices such as heat resistant mats and always keep them out of the reach of children
  • Remember to use any electrical goods, including new Christmas gadgets, safely

Smoking

  • If you are a smoker, remember to take extra care if you have been drinking. Alcohol can cause sleepiness.

Candles

  • Make sure candles aren’t placed in or near decorations and keep them out of the reach of children too, consider battery operated candles as a safer alternative.

Smoke alarms

  • Install some smoke alarms on every level of your home. Check them once a month as a working smoke alarm really does save lives.
  • Do something good this Christmas. Test the smoke alarms of someone in your Christmas bubble you know who may need help. This could be an elderly relative you want to keep safe.
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