Fire safety at Christmas
Fire safety is particularly important at Christmas time. Christmas is a time of merriment and fun but, research indicates that alcohol was a pre-fire factor in almost 40% of fire deaths in the last two years.
Practising good fire prevention habits will help you to reduce the risk of fire in the home.
Christmas Fire Safety Tips
- Place real Christmas trees securely in a sturdy base filled with water – metal stands cause trees to dry out and become flammable
- Check water level daily
- Ensure artificial trees have been pre-treated to increase flame resistance
- Dispose of tree properly – never burn a real tree in the fireplace
- Only buy Christmas lights marked with a safety standard
- Check all wiring and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure a competent person checks all connections and examines the wiring for fraying
- If in doubt, throw them out
- Don’t overload sockets
- Unplug all Christmas lights and electrical appliances before leaving your home or going to bed
- Ensure lights are suitable for outdoor use
- Fasten the bulbs securely and point the sockets down to stop moisture building up
- Never use indoor extension leads outside.
- Keep outdoor electrical connections above ground and out of puddles and snow
- Ensure trees hung with Christmas lights are not touching power lines
- Don't leave candles burning in a room with no one in it
- Don't put candles in or by a Christmas tree, plants, flowers or foliage. Ribbons and other decorations around the candleholder could also catch fire
- Never use candles on Christmas trees, even artificial ones
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents
- Always use an appropriate candleholder placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface
- Keep candles away from curtains and furniture and never place them under shelves
- Situate candles in an appropriate location away from areas where they could be easily knocked over or where people could collide with them causing injury
- Keep out of reach of children and pets
- Extinguish a candle if it smokes or flickers repeatedly or if the flame becomes too high
- Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times
- Do not burn a candle for longer than manufacturer recommends
- Extinguish candles before moving them
- Never go to sleep with a candle still burning