At a time of year when people decorate their homes for Christmas, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is urging people to spare a thought for fire safety.
In 2015-2016, NFRS attended 12 candle fires, so would like to remind people to take special care when putting together their festive lighting displays.
Lisa Bryan, District Liaison Officer in NFRS’s Home Safety Team, said: “At Christmas there is always the temptation for people to dig out long-buried sets of fairy lights or to do things such as building their own decorated candle holders or to set candles close to other decorations.
“This is a very distracting time of year for people, when present lists are being stockpiled and parties planned, but a little thought about the safety of festive decorations could prevent Christmas being ruined by a devastating fire. It is always worth taking the time to ensure everything you are using is safe.
“The colder weather brings its own menaces too and people should take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm.”
Christmas decorations: safety tips
1) Never leave burning candles unattended. Put them out when you leave a room. Make sure they are out completely at night.
2) Do not burn several candles close together as this could cause flaring.
3) Do not move candles once they are lit.
4) Keep candle wax pools clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
5) Keep candles out of the reach of children and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
6) Always use Christmas tree lights with the BS EN 60598 code.
7) Check your fairy lights are not damaged or broken before use.
8) Switch your fairy lights off and unplug them before you go to bed or go out.
9) Make sure smoke alarms are fitted in your home and ensure they are checked regularly.
10) Keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily.
11) Replace failed fairy light bulbs immediately to prevent overheating,
12) Do not overload plug sockets. Ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those designed to be left on, like freezers.
13) Take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas – make sure they are fire safe.
14) Make sure any guests coming to stay at Christmas know how to get out in case of a fire. Make an escape plan.