London’s Fire Brigade have issued 12 festive tips to help the capital’s homes enjoy a safe Christmas period.
According to figures issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government (Accidental Dwelling Fires 2000-2004) people in England are 50% more likely to die in a house fire during the Christmas period that at any other time of the year.
The festive tips are:
- Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard. Always use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment (safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off the power).
- Never place candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings. Don’t leave them burning unattended.
- Make sure your family and visitors staying for the festive period know what to do in an emergency. Practice a fire escape plan.
- Decorations can burn easily – Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
- Switch off electrical appliances when not in use, unless they’re designed to stay on. Take special care with Christmas lights. Always switch off and unplug Christmas lights before you go to bed.
- Celebrate Christmas and New Year safely. The risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed.
- Most fires start in the kitchen – never leave cooking unattended.
- If you are planning to celebrate with fireworks, store them in a metal box, read the instructions, never go back to a lit firework and keep a bucket of water nearby.
- Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished.
- Check the battery in your smoke alarm every week and use Christmas as a reminder to clean it and remove dust.
- Keep candles, lighters and matches out of reach of children.
- Take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas – make sure they are fire safe.