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Make sure fire prevention is on your Christmas to do list

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire. 

While fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season. 

Cornwall’s Chief Fire Officer Kathryn Billing said: “We all hope that this Christmas will be a time for festive cheer with family and friends. But Christmas 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. Make sure candles are in suitable holders and away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms”.  

“The colder weather brings its own risks too – take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm.” 

Here are some top tips for keeping fire safe this Christmas:

  • Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard  
  • Never place candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings and don't leave them burning unattended. 
  • Make a fire escape plan – just in case you have an emergency during the festive period. 
  • Decorations can burn easily - Don't attach them to lights or a heater. 
  • Always switch Christmas lights off and unplug them before you go to bed. 
  • Remember, after drinking alcohol, the risk of accidents in the kitchen is greater. 
  • Most fires start in the kitchen, so don’t leave cooking unattended. 
  • If you smoke, make sure that your smoking material is extinguished before you go to bed. 
  • Make sure smoke alarms are fitted, cleaned and working correctly 
  • Don’t overload plug sockets 
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbours – make sure they are fire safe. 

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for public safety Martyn Alvey said: “This year more than ever, we all want to enjoy the festive period, but it can be a time where safety is not at the forefront of our minds and it’s easy to get carried away. 

“There are a number of quick and simple things we can all do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe such as regularly testing our smoke alarms and being vigilant when cooking up Christmas treats.” 


Story posted 17 December 2021 

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