Thursday, 29 November 2012

Don’t let fire ruin festive cheer this Christmas

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

Although fire safety is always important, the extra distractions of Christmas make it essential to be vigilant, to ensure your families and loved ones are protected from fire

Community Fire Safety Team Manager, Steve Wright, said: “Christmas is a time for having fun with family and friends; however it is also a time when extra fire hazards are introduced to the home such as fairy lights, candles and decorations. 

“We are urging you to think about fire safety ahead of the Christmas period. Ensure you buy British Standard fairy lights, place candles in suitable holders and away from curtains, and never leave cooking unattended. Following these simple tips will make sure everyone is safe to enjoy the festivities.”

Below are some top tips to help you celebrate safely this festive season:

·        Ensure you have a working smoke alarm 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 to power presents!

·        Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety.

·        Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol and 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 drunk 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).

·        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.

·        Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire – in the event of fire: get out, stay out and call 999.

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