There’s lots to think about in December – but Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service hopes fire safety is top of your Christmas list. Decorations, cards, wrapping and Christmas trees can all act as extra fuel for a fire sparked by candles, overheated sockets, faulty fairy lights or cigarettes. The risks increase when you add cooking, drinking, parties and guests into the mix. Here’s some seasonal advice to help you celebrate in safety:
• Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. Test them weekly and never remove batteries to power presents. Bucks Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a free home safety check, fitting free smoke alarms where needed. Book one by ringing 01296 744477 or emailing email@example.com
• Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen, so this is a high risk area. Avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol, and always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
• Never leave candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards, wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
• If you smoke, make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished, and take extra care if you are tired or have had a drink.
• Don’t block exits with Christmas trees and presents.
• 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, such as freezers.
• Switch off Christmas lights and unplug them before you go out or go to bed.
• Always use an RCD on outdoor equipment. It instantly switches off power if there is a fault (found in DIY stores).
• Never use heaters to dry clothes.
• In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure everyone staying with you over Christmas knows what to do in an emergency.