Festive fire safety
Most people are busy preparing for the festive season right now and fire safety is probably the last thing on your mind. However, during this joyous time of the year the risk of household fires is actually higher than normal, mainly due to seasonal decorations that prove to be additional fire risks.
To give you some idea of fire risks, we thought we’d highlight danger areas to raise awareness and act as a precaution…
- Fairy lights: A number of risks are related to fairy lights. Check the fuse for starters to make sure it’s the right rating for the light set. When bulbs blow replace them immediately and use the same type to prevent the risk of fire. Don’t drape anything flammable near the bulbs and remember to switch the lights off if you leave the house or retire to bed in the evening. Finally, avoid plugging too many sets of lights into the same socket to prevent the circuit overloading.
- Paper and card: Keep Christmas cards and paper decorations away from flammable sources such as naked candles, fires and heaters. Think carefully where you place cards and hang seasonal bunting. Cards have a habit of falling off shelves and streamers can fall down. This can be a danger if there’s a heat source close by.
- Candles: Never leave lit candles unattended. This is vital, especially if you have small children or pets in the house. Keep a careful eye on lit candles and never place them near flammable items that could catch fire and quickly spread into a blaze.
- Trees: Whether it’s plastic or real, if a Christmas tree catches fire this year it will give off toxic fumes. Make sure your tree is stable and secure and keep it well away from naked flames. Never place burning candles on the branches of a tree. Fire spreads quickly from the base of the tree to the top and it engulfs the room in thick, black toxic smoke.
- Boozy suppers: Avoid using chip pans, deep fat fryers and frying pans after a boozy, festive pub crawl. Yes you’ll be starving after spending Christmas Eve down the pub but never cook using hot fats whilst under the influence. It’s best to avoid cooking when you get home from the pub; grab a takeaway on the way back to your house or make a simple sandwich that isn’t a fire risk.