With Christmas rapidly approaching, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has 12 top tips for ho-ho-home safety over the festive period!
1. Check your Christmas lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard. Replace any blown bulbs. Never overload electrical sockets, and make sure outdoor lights are fitted with a residual current device. Always switch off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving the property.
2. Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases. Don'y place your tree close to any heat source, including vents, as this will dry it out, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
3. Never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings - and never leave a burning candle unattended. Always put candles on a heat resistant surface, and never on top of the television.
4. Decorations can burn easily - so don't have them near lights, candles, heaters or open fires.
5. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach of children.
6. Never leave your cooking unattended and make sure you switch off the oven and hob when the meal is done.
7. Make sure any guests know what to do in the event of an emergency - do they know where door/window keys are kept and have you shown them the escape route?
8. Many fires start when people fall asleep while smoking, so make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly - and never smoke in bed.
9. If you're planning on celebrating with fireworks, make sure you follow the instructions - more advice can be found here.
10. Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm to power new Christmas toy.
11. Make sure you test your smoke alarm every week - and why not spread a little festive good will by checking on any elderly relatives, friends or neighbours as well.
12. If you don't already have one, get a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly - this is essential in homes with gas appliance, real fires and/or wood burners.
Area Manager, Seth Why said: "We continue to see too many fires both locally and nationally during the Christmas period. With so many things to think about during the holidays, it's all too easy to overlook fire safety but it should be at the top of the list. We want everyone to have a happy, enjoyable and safe Christmas, so we hope these top tis will be a handy reminder."
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue offers free Safe and Well visits, which can include fitting free smoke alarms where needed - to find out more, call 0800 038 2323 or more information can be found here.