London Fire Brigade shares tips on keeping safe this Christmas

Christmas fireplace

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The London Fire Brigade has shared a range of tips to keep safe this Christmas.

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 has 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.

Dan Daly, assistant commissioner for fire safety at the London Fire Brigade, commented: “Fire is devastating at any time 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.”

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