With consumption set to rise during the festive season, London’s fire chiefs are warning that almost one in three fatal fires have alcohol as a contributing factor.
According to London Fire Brigade statistics, alcohol is a factor in 31 per cent of fatal accidental residential fires and approximately 35 per cent of all fatal fires occurring in the months of December, January and February.
The brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Community Safety, Andy Barrett warns: “People are more likely to take risks when they drink and lose control of their sensory awareness. These factors lead to a slower response time which can be deadly if a fire starts.”
Barrett said that even where households have working smoke alarms, high alcohol intake meant victims “simply can’t react due to their lack of awareness.”
The brigade has issued the following advice:
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm
- Drinking and naked flames like candles shouldn’t mix
- The risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed. Never leave cooking unattended.
- Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished and never smoke in bed, many fires start when people drink, then fall asleep while smoking.
- Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and dial 999.
- Have an escape route planned so you and your family can leave your home safely in the event of a fire