With Christmas just around the corner, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has released some top tips to help keep your family safe over the festive period.
Check your Christmas lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard. Never overload electrical sockets, and make sure outdoor lights are fitted with a residual current device.
• Always switch off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving home.
• Never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings – and never leave a burning candle unattended.
• Decorations can burn easily – so don’t hang them near lights or heaters.
• Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.
• Never leave your Christmas cooking unattended and make sure you switch off the oven and hob when the meal is done.
• If you’re having guests around, ask them to park considerately. Santa isn’t the only one who needs to navigate tight spaces.
• Make sure any guests know what to do in the event of an emergency – do they know where door/window keys are kept and have you shown them the escape route?
• Many fires start when people fall asleep while smoking, so make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly – and never smoke in bed.
• If you’re planning on celebrating with fireworks, make sure you follow the instructions.
• Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm to power a new Christmas toy.
• Make sure you test your smoke alarm every week – and why not spread a little festive goodwill by checking on any elderly relatives, friends or neighbours as well.
• If you don’t already have one, get a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – this is essential in homes with gas appliances, real fires and/or woodburners.
For more information on maintaining fire safety in your home over Christmas please visit www.dwfire. org.uk/christmas-safety or to see if you are eligible for a FREE Safe and Well visit, please call 0800 038 2323.