Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) have released a shocking video to remind people to keep safety at the top of their Christmas list. The video shows how a fire caused by faulty Christmas lights engulfs a living room in flames and smoke in less than 60 seconds.
While the BFRS reminds us that fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra distractions and decorations of Christmas make it especially important for people to be vigilant and make sure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.
Pete Buckingham, Community Safety Manager, says: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But fairy lights, candles and decorations mean it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire.
“To ensure you have the merriest of Christmases, keep fire safety at the top of your list. Ensure you place candles in suitable holders and away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms.
“The colder weather brings its own menaces too. Take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm.”
The BFRS has shared these Christmas tips to help every family across Bedford Borough have a safe and happy Christmas:
- Install smoke alarms and make sure they are working on all levels of your home. Test your smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries.
- Test the smoke alarms of someone you know who may need help such as an older relative or neighbour to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire.
- Always keep an eye on your cooking and avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol. Most fires start in the kitchen. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished.
- Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
- Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
- Never use heaters to dry clothes. Heaters can start fires when things are placed too close to them. Keep them well away from curtains, clothing and furniture.
- Don’t overload sockets. Ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when not in use, except those on appliances like freezers and fridges that are designed to be left on.
- Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house. Check they conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598) and are in good working order.
- Always use a residual current device (RCD) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault.
- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire. In the event of fire you should get out, stay out, and call 999
Visit www.bedsfire.gov.uk for more safety advice.