Festive fire safety advice for Devon residents

THE fire service has issued guidelines to help people remain safe over the Christmas period. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said that with the extra distractions of the festive period, it is especially important to be vigilant.

THE fire service has issued guidelines to help people remain safe over the Christmas period.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said that with the extra distractions of the festive period, it is especially important to be vigilant.

A spokesman said that children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to accidental fires in the home, so extra care should be taken to ensure they are protected from Christmas fire risks.

Christmas Fire Safety Tips

Festive decorations made of tissue paper or cardboard burn particularly easily, so keep decorations and greeting cards away from heaters, lights, fireplaces and candles. Most fires start in the kitchen - so never leave festive cooking unattended!

Ensure you check the smoke alarms in your home are working, check them on a weekly basis and do not be tempted to remove batteries to power any Christmas presents;

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Make your escape plan. Get out alive - plan your escape route for the event of fire and ensure all your family and guests know where the door and window keys are kept;

Christmas Lights

Fairy lights and Christmas tree lights don't get used very often, so ensure they're in good working order before using them.

Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598). Always use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment (safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault).

Check that the fuse in the plug is the right size (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use)

Replace bulbs that blow

Don't leave lights on when you go to bed or leave the house

Don't let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, such as paper or fabrics

Candles

Candles and night lights are often used in celebrations for Christmas. It only takes one candle to put your home at risk - always take care when using them:

Make sure you don't put candles in, or by, a Christmas tree, plants, flowers or other foliage

Be careful that ribbons, greetings cards and other decorations aren't near any candle flames

That the candle is out of draughts and away from curtains, other fabrics or furniture, which could catch fire

Never leave a candle unattended

Make sure you: put out candles before you leave a room and before you go to bed

Station Manager Kev Hardwill Said "Christmas is the time of year where family and friends get together to celebrate. We don't want to dampen spirits, but we do want to raise awareness of the danger and destruction an overloaded socket or an unattended candle can cause. By following these simple tips hopefully we can all enjoy a peaceful and fire safe Christmas."

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service offer free home safety visits and will check for unsafe practices within the home. As a result of this, they may install free working smoke alarms on each level of your home. For the hard of hearing; vibrating alarms are available

For more information on fire safety in the home go to www.direct.gov.uk/firekills.

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