The most wonderful time of year is almost upon us, the decorations are being dusted off and Christmas tree stalls are popping up all over the City. As December looms it is almost time to deck the halls and turn your homes into a Christmas grotto as Santa Claus will soon be coming to town.
London Fire Brigade wants everyone to have a wonderful Christmas – rocking around the Christmas tree with family and friends, but most importantly the Brigade wants everyone to have a safe Christmas without any firefighters showing up and spoiling the Christmas dinner.
Over Christmas there are lots of extra fire hazards in the home and the Brigade wants you to hear only silver bells over the festive period not sirens.
Fires in London’s homes in December have reduced by 21 per cent over the past five years. In 2014 there were 529 fires in homes while last year this had reduced to 416. To keep on Santa’s nice list the Brigade have issued some top safety tips to help everyone step into Christmas safely.
- Keep candles away from Christmas trees, curtains or anything else that could catch fire and don’t leave them burning unattended.
- Check your Christmas tree lights conform with safety standards and always switch them off before going to bed.
- Don’t attach decorations to lights or heaters – they can overheat and catch fire.
- Make sure you have a fire escape plan and share this with everyone in your household and any guests staying over Christmas.
- Don’t leave cooking unattended, it’s safer to take pans off the heat and turn the hob, oven or grill off.
- Make sure new electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
- Don’t overload plug sockets.
- Check on elderly relatives and neighbours and make sure they are safe.
- Test your smoke alarms and make sure they are working. Fit a heat alarm in the kitchen – this will detect an increase in temperature caused by fire, but not be set off by cooking fumes.
- If you smoke over the Christmas make sure you don’t get distracted and ensure your smoking material is extinguished properly.
London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Dan Daly said: “Fire is devastating at anytime of year but this is heightened more at Christmas time with wrapped presents destroyed and families displaced. While some may wish for a white Christmas, we want everyone to enjoy a safe Christmas.
“There are many fire hazards in the home over Christmas – candles, fairy lights, overloaded plug sockets, cooking left unattended – or carried out after a festive tipple. I don’t want to be Mr. Grinch and tell you not to decorate your homes or to take part in the festive cheer – but I do want you to be safe over Christmas and take steps to prevent fires from occurring and spoiling the holiday. So make sure you have a look at our safety tips, check your smoke alarms and be aware of some of the potential fire hazards.
“And from everyone at London Fire Brigade, we wish you a Merry Christmas.”
For more safety information take a look at the Brigade’s ‘Fire safety in the home’ book.