Think about fire safety over the Christmas period
Extra fire risks at Christmas
If you're trying to reduce heating costs this winter, keep warm safely.
Don't become complacent about fire safety. You should:
- have a working smoke alarm fitted on all levels of your property
- test your smoke alarm(s) every week and make sure to replace the battery or the smoke alarm if it isn't working
- have a working carbon monoxide alarm
Christmas is a time when extra fire hazards are in the home, including:
- portable heaters - make sure they’re in good working order and keep them away from soft furnishings and Christmas decorations
- open fires that haven’t been lit for a long time - get someone suitably-trained to service your chimney before you light it to make sure it’s not blocked
- Christmas tree lights
- overloaded sockets
Fires can start easily. To reduce the risk of fire over the festive period, you should:
- check that your Christmas lights conform to the British Standard
- never use lights with worn or frayed cables
- turn off lights at night or when you are leaving the house
- never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations, wrapping paper, or furnishings
- put candles in a purpose-made holder and on a heat-resistant surface
- never put candles under shelves
- never leave burning candles unattended and make sure they are out of reach from children and pets
- never attach decorations to lights or heaters
- never overload electrical sockets - electrical appliances such as electric heaters should be plugged directly into a wall socket as they are high-powered
- never leave a cooker unattended and switch off cooking appliances after use
- make sure cigarettes are completely stubbed out and never smoke in bed
- keep candles, lighters and matches out of the reach of children
- keep heaters away from soft furnishings and decorations
You should make a fire escape plan, discuss it with your family, and keep your escape routes clear. Make sure any visiting family and friends are aware of the fire escape plan and tell them where you keep door keys.
You can find out more about fire safety at the following links:
You should try and celebrate Christmas and New Year safely – the risk of accidents is greater after drinking alcohol.
If a fire starts, get everyone out of the property and close all doors behind you - phone 999.
Older or vulnerable people
Check in with older family, friends, neighbours and those who are isolated in the community and make sure they have a working smoke alarm. Advise them of steps they can take to help ‘STOP’ fire in their home.
If you're worried about the fire safety of someone in your community you can register them for a free Home Fire Safety Check.
If you hear a neighbour’s smoke alarm going off, don’t ignore it - go and check.
If there’s a fire, or if you can’t be sure, phone 999.