Christmas Fire Warning

14 December 2010, 08:25 | Updated: 14 December 2010, 08:43

A fire safety video showing a festive front room going up in flames in under a minute, is highlighting the importance of fire safety this Christmas.

New statistics show that the risk of a fire is higher over the festive period.

In 2009 between 1st November and 25th December, there were 100 house fires in Dorset alone.

The video counts the seconds as a house fire sparked by faulty fairy lights takes hold, reminding people just how little time they have to escape should a fire break out.

Watch the Video Here.

Many people are unaware of the potential fire hazards and toxic threats that can lurk in fairy lights, candles and flammable Christmas decorations.  Latest figures from the Fire Kills campaign show a rise in the number of accidental fire deaths and injuries over the festive period last year.

As a result Fire and Rescue Services on the south coast are urging people to take extra care as they get into the festive spirit this Christmas - dry Christmas trees, decorations and wrapped presents are all extra fuel for a potential fire into the home.

Here are the top tips to stay safe from fire this Christmas:

1.    Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. Test your smoke alarms weekly and never remove batteries to power presents!

2.    Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking whilst drunk.  The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area.  Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.

3.    Never leave candles unattended. Keep decorations, cards and wrapping paper away from candles, fires, lights and heaters.

4.    Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).

5.    Always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment (This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store).

6.    Don't overload sockets - ensure only one plug per socket.  Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers.

7.    Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly and never smoke in bed.  Put it out, right out.

8.    Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety at this time of year.

9.    Ask the experts - Many fire and rescue services in England offer free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them. This may even include the free installation of a smoke alarm - the ideal gift for keeping your family safe

10.     And finally, in the event of fire: get out, stay out and call 999.