Date: 15th December, 2016
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging local people to have fire safety at the top of their Christmas list.
Fire statistics show that 20 people a day are either killed or injured in the home during December – the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.
Safe & Well Manager Vikki Thomas said: “Christmas is a time for having fun with family and friends, but it’s also the time of year when the chances of fire in the home greatly increase. We want people to be safe and enjoy the holidays, which is why we are reminding people to take extra care in the coming weeks.”
The Service has these top tips:
- Ensure that you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home, test them weekly, and never remove batteries to power presents!
- Make sure gas fires and central heating systems are serviced by a qualified engineer, and install carbon monoxide alarms.
- Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety, as they are at greater risk from fire.
- Never leave cooking unattended, and keep the area near the hob clear of items such as tea-towels, as the majority of fires start in the kitchen. Avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol and always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
- If you smoke, make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished. Take particular care when you’re tired or been drinking, as it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
- Never leave lit candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, candles, cards and wrapping paper.
- Check your Christmas lights conform to British Standard BS EN 60598. Always fully unwind the cables so they don’t overheat and check the wiring thoroughly. Ensure that the correct fuses are used and don’t overload adaptors/extension leads, which should also have fused protection. Always switch off lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house.
- Use a 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 purchased in any DIY store.
- When buying presents, make sure that they conform to British or European standards and have the appropriate safety marking.
- Make sure that laptops, mobile phones, tablets, e-cigarettes etc. are charged using a branded charger and never leave items unattended while charging.
- Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call 999.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Safe and Well visits, where we visit your house at a convenient time to see what we can do to make you safer. To find out more, call free on 0800 038 2323 or visit www.dwfire.org.uk