As we all know, Christmas brings a plethora of extra jobs, buying presents for the family, to putting up decorations and, of course, cooking Christmas dinner. With such festivities taking place during this period, it is common for fire safety to take a back seat.
However, would this Christmas be the same with no home to go to? In 2016/17 alone there have been:
- 2480 fire that started with electrics including wiring, cabling and plugs
- 1937 fires involving smoking, (214 of which were caused by cigarette lighters)
- 1686 fire involving cooking
- 843 fires involving candles
- 193 chimney fires
- 57 firework related fires
- 50 fires involving electric blanket
So to help you prepare for the festive season, take a look at our tips for keeping you family and your home safe this year from fire.
Everybody wants to let their neighbours know that they are the most festive on the street, and what better way to do so than with Christmas lights! By checking the packaging of the product for a BSI Kitemark or CE mark, you can ensure that your lights conform to the required legislative standards.
Overloaded plug sockets:
Christmas tree lights on? The Grinch in the background on TV? Electricity is essential to create the Christmas atmosphere. One overloaded power socket, however, can lead to a fire. Should you plan to use a multitude of appliances simultaneously, consider making use of an online socket overload calculator! This will advise you of whether you are plugging too many devices into one outlet, and risking a fire.
Correctly discard of your cigarettes:
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service warn that every week somebody dies from a fire caused by a cigarette. That last glass of mulled wine may seem like a good idea at the time, but this increases the likelihood of falling asleep with a cigarette whilst under the influence. Ensure the safety of the whole family by stubbing out your cigarette!
Throughout the year, cooking fires contribute considerably to fire statistics. Moreover, London Fire Brigade state that approximately 60% of accidental fires in the home begin in the kitchen. On Christmas day, cooking is often made infinitely more stressful, as the extended family arrive expecting only the finest of turkeys prepared in their honour. To meet such expectations, it is essential that you avoid leaving the cooking unattended, and make sure that loose clothing and tea towels are kept sufficiently clear of the oven and hobs. Kitchen safety in general must be taken very seriously, in order to avoid a much worse eventuality than a burnt Christmas dinner.
Other tips apply over the festive period include:
- Placing candles away from furnishings/flammable materials, and the Christmas tree, and ensuring they are extinguished before leaving the room
- Practicing an escape plan with the family
- Avoiding highly combustible decorations, especially over the fire, around heated appliances and near candles.
- Unplugging your Christmas tree and decorations before leaving the house or going to sleep
- Keep an eye on your alcohol consumption!
- Checking your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detection early in December, and making sure it is fully functional for the busy period ahead
- Ensuring your chimney is swept and properly maintained. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service recommend that cleaning should be carried out 3 times during burning season (winter)
- Using fireworks in a safe and responsible manner whether you’re celebrating Christmas, New Year or perhaps a cheeky engagement
The short amount of time taken to look at these fire safety issues in the home now and make yours a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.