Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Christmas fire warning

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and the Fire Kills campaign are reminding people to put fire safety at the top of their to-do lists.

Statistics from last year showed that 20 people a day were either killed or hurt in accidental fires in the home during December.

Although fire safety is important at every time of the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.

In December 2011, there were 2,834 accidental fires in the home in England – more than any other month of the year. This is why Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is reminding people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure their families and loved ones are protected from fire.

Debbie Robinson, Deputy Community Fire Safety Manager, said: “Christmas is a time for having fun with family and friends – however, it’s also a time when extra fire hazards such as fairy lights, candles and decorations are introduced into the home. The Fire Kills Christmas tree video shows just how fast a fire can spread.

“We’re 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.”

Here are some top tips from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and Fire Kills to help you celebrate safely:

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 once a week and never remove the batteries to power presents!

Check on older relatives this Christmas to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire.

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 cigarettes 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 everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – get out, stay out and call 999.