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Don’t Let Fire Ruin Festive Cheer this Christmas

15th December 2014

Christmas dinner, wrapping presents, decorating your home – there’s lots to think about this Christmas. But one thing North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Fire Kills campaign are urging residents to put top of their Christmas lists this year is fire safety.

Fire statistics show that in December, 20 people a day are either killed or injured in accidental fires in the home in England[1]. In December 2013, there were around 2,700 accidental fires in the home in England – more than any other month of the year.

And while fire safety is important throughout the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season. This is why North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.

Peter Hudson, Group Manager for Prevention and Protection at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But fairy lights, candles and decorations means it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire”

To ensure you have the merriest of Christmases, keep fire safety at the top of your list. Ensure you place candles in suitable holders and away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms.

From everyone at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service we wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas.

Here are some simple tips from Fire Kills to help you and your family enjoy the joys of Christmas safely:

  •  Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home. A working alarm can give you the vital time needed to escape in a fire. Test your smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries!
  •  Never leave cooking unattended.  The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area.  Many of us enjoy a merry tipple over the festive season but be sure to avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
  •  Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
  • Put your cigarette out, right out.  Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
  • 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, like freezers.
  • Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598) and are in good working order before use.
  • Always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store.
  • Do something good this Christmas. Test the smoke alarms of someone you know who may need help such as an older relative or neighbour to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire – in the event of fire you should get out, stay out and call 999

For more information and to support the campaign visit the Fire Kills Facebook page www.facebook.com/firekills

Watch the short Fire Kills Christmas Tree video at http://youtu.be/hMtjGfr0tYs

 


[1] Fire Statistics GB, 2011-12

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