Think about fire safety over the Christmas period
Extra fire risks at Christmas
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
Christmas is a time when extra fire hazards are in the home, including:
- portable heaters
- open fires that haven’t been lit for a long time
- 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
- never leave a cooker unattended and switch off cooking appliances after use- most fires start in the kitchen
- 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
have a working smoke alarm fitted on all levels of your property
make a fire escape plan and 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
if a fire starts, get everyone out of the property and close all doors behind you - phone 999
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.
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.