Staying safe this Christmas

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are urging residents to stay safe this Christmas and not let their celebrations end in tragedy.

WITH Christmas on the way Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to be aware of fire risks in their home.

The fire service is reminding people to be vigilant and ensure their festive celebrations do not end in tragedy as dry Christmas tress, decorations and wrapped presents can all provide fuel to a potential fire in the home.

Children and elderly people are particularly vulnerable to accidental fires in the home.

Toxic smoke can render a person unconscious in two or three breaths of smoke.

Decorations made of tissue paper or cardboard burn easily so it is important to keep decorations and cards away from heaters, lights, fireplaces and candles.

Check smoke alarms are working and do not be tempted to remove the batteries to power any Christmas presents.

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Most fires start in the kitchen so it is important never to leave anything cooking unattended and avoid cooking while drunk.

Switch off fairy lights and unplug them before going to bed or leaving the house. Also make sure the lights conform to the British standard.

For outdoor electrical equipment use a residual current device (RSD). This can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault.

Make sure plug sockets are not overloaded, with one plug per socket, and always turn off plugs when they are not in use unless necessary.

For free fire safety advice call 0800 73 11 822 or the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on 01392 872288. Alternatively visit