Friday, 23 November 2012

Festive Fire Safety Tips

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas but with Christmas just around the corner Cumbrians are being issued with a festive fire warning.

Statistics show the chances of dying in an accidental house fire increase by 50 per cent at Christmas as the use of candles increases, lights and decorations are on display and alcohol flows when people get into the festive spirit.

So to help people have a merry but safe Christmas, Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is issuing hints and tips for festive fire safety.

The top tips for keeping safe from fire this Christmas are as follows:
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. Test your smoke alarms weekly and never remove batteries.
- Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
- Never leave candles unattended. Keep decorations, cards and wrapping paper away from candles, fires, lights and heaters.
- Ensure you switch off Christmas tree and fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your 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).
- 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.
- When dry, real Christmas trees can take less than a minute to completely involve a room in fire so it’s essential people with real trees ensure that they keep the tree in a suitable stand that can be kept topped up with water.
- Always use a fire guard on a real open fire to protect against flying sparks and hot embers. Also make sure embers are properly out before going to bed.
- Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly and never smoke in bed. Put it out, right out.
- Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety at this time of year.
- Ask the experts – Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service offer free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them. This includes the free installation of a smoke alarm – the ideal gift for keeping your family safe
- And finally, in the event of fire - get out, stay out and call 999.

Cumbria’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Adrian Buckle said “Christmas is one of the most enjoyable times of the year but it can turn to tragedy if potential fire hazards are ignored.

“While of course we don’t want to spoil anybody’s fun and we hope everybody has a fantastic Christmas and New Year, it’s important that people take a few basic precautions to keep themselves and their friends and families safe over the festive season.”

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service operates a freephone number - 0800 358 4777 - which people can call to arrange a free home fire safety check and receive other useful safety information. Landlords who would like their properties checked can also call this number.

No comments:

Post a Comment