Fire Service Christmas Warnings

10 December 2013, 06:00

West Sussex Fire and Rescue has released its own 12 Days of Christmas to help reduce the risk of fires over the festive period.

It's because the risk of having a fire in the home increases and hundreds of people in the UK injured each year during over Christmas with more than 10% of all fire deaths occurring in the month of December. 

Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said: "The distractions of a crowded house and celebrations can often result in cooking or candles being left unattended. The added influence of alcohol means that it's even more important to stay alert while preparing the Christmas dinner or entertaining over the festive period.

"While no Christmas party would be complete without a few decorations, many are highly flammable and wrapping paper can add extra fuel to a fire sparked by an overloaded socket or faulty fairy lights.
The Christmas video (above) shows in graphic detail just how quickly a fire caused by faulty decorations can take hold.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have announced two periods of national strike action on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December between 6.00pm and 10pm - a time when many people may be attending or holding festive celebrations.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will continue to provide an emergency response during the industrial action, but will have fewer resources available.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service's 12 Days of Christmas:

On the 1st day of Christmas: check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard. Always use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment (a safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off the power).

On the 2nd day of Christmas: Candle safety - never place candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings and never leave candles unattended.

On the 3rd day of Christmas: Make sure your family and any guests staying know what to do in the event of a fire - make an escape plan.

On the 4th day of Christmas: Decorations can burn easily - don't attach them to lights or heaters.

On the 5th day of Christmas: Don't overload electrical sockets and take special care with Christmas lights.

On the 6th day of Christmas: Celebrate Christmas and New Year safely. The risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed.

On the 7th day of Christmas: Most fires start in the kitchen - never leave cooking unattended.

On the 8th day of Christmas: If you are planning to celebrate with fireworks, store them in a metal box, read the instructions, never go back to a lit firework and keep a bucket of water nearby.

On the 9th day of Christmas: Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished.

On the 10th day of Christmas: Test It Tuesday! Check the battery in your smoke alarm every week and use Christmas as a reminder to clean it and remove dust.

On the 11th day of Christmas: Keep candles, lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

On the 12th day of Christmas: Take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas - make sure they are fire safe.