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Christmas 2020

It’s been a tough year for all of us and this Christmas will be very different to usual. When getting out the decorations and getting into that festive spirit, please remember that traditions around Christmas can result in it being a more hazardous time of the year with regards to fire safety.

This Christmas,many of us will be spending more time in the home, meaning we’re cooking more and probably drinking more at home too; our homes are filled with trees and decorations which are often flammable; we might have new electrical items in the house; and we might use candles to create a special atmosphere. All these things mean that the risks of a fire happening may increase slightly – we don’t want you to worry about this, we just want to remind you to be extra careful.

It’s also important that we celebrate Christmas in line with the current government guidance around Covid-19. Please keep up to date with restrictions in your area and follow advice from authorities.

So, in the lead up to Christmas Day we’ll be sharing a safety message each day across our social media channels.

Cold Weather

Another potential risk associated with December is the colder weather. In the winter months, you may begin to use additional or alternative heating sources in a bid to stay warm as the temperature drops. If you’re using electrical sources to keep warm this winter, then you can find all of the safety information here: https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/winter-tips/

Essential Christmas Safety 

  • Don’t cook if you have been drinking and never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never place candles near your Christmas tree or materials that can catch alight easily.
  • Keep candles, lighters and matches out of children’s reach. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Never overload electrical sockets. Always switch Christmas lights off and unplug them before you go to bed.
  • Decorations can burn easily – so don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
  • Take time to check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas as they are potentially at greater risk from fire.
  • Check your Christmas tree lights carry the British Safety Standard sign.

Road Safety

With the weather usually worsening over the Christmas period, it’s important to be extra careful when out on the roads.

Is your car winter ready? Follow the RAC’s top tips here: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/how-to/preparing-your-car-for-winter/

There’s also likely to be an increased number of people celebrating under the influence of alcohol over Christmas.

If you’re intending to drive, please make sure you are refreshed & if you’re already on the road & get tired – take a break! Don’t speed and don’t drive after drinking, or with a hangover. 

Merry Christmas from everybody here at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Last year our fantastic singing Firefighter, Firefighter Arey, performed our very own Christmas parody ‘A Tale of Safe & Well’.

You can relive the video below.

…and stay tuned… there may be more to come…

 

Each day in the run up to Christmas Day we’ll be reminding you of key safety messages. Keep up to date with our messages via social media on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

11th December – Make sure everyone knows the best way to get out in the event of a fire. Best routes are the normal ways in and out, but have a backup plan. Also know where window and door keys are kept.

12th December – Always follow the instructions that came with your Christmas lights. Check for damage or loose wires before putting them up. Switch them off and unplug them when you go out or go to bed.

13th December – You often have to make room for a lot of extra items in your home over Christmas, but please don’t block doors that are your escape route in the event of a fire.

14th December – The only time you should remove a battery from a smoke alarm is when you are replacing it with a new one. Never disconnect or remove the batteries from a working smoke alarm if it goes off by mistake, or Santa forgets to provide batteries for a new toy on Christmas day!

15th December – Be careful using an open fire. Use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks. Make sure embers are properly out before going to bed. Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained, for you and Santa!

16th December – Use a multi-way bar extension instead of a block adaptor. Never plug an extension lead into another extension lead. Consider having extra sockets installed and use a registered electrician to carry out the work.

17th December – Make sure everything that should be turned off is off. Double check the oven & hob are off. Careful not to switch them on by accident when cleaning. Don’t use your hob as an extension of your worktop by leaving pans on.

18th December – Be vigilant in the kitchen – it’s the room where more than half of all house fires start.

19th December – House fires which start when you sleep have the potential to injure or kill, & house fires which start when you are out have the potential to destroy your home. That’s why you should always be home, and awake when you run your washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer.

 

Over the Festive Season many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen. Whilst at home, we enjoy indulging in those special Christmas treats and of course, cooking that big Christmas dinner!

But did you know that over half of accidental house fires occur in the kitchen.

Our Fire Prevention team have teamed up with Together Housing to bring you some essential kitchen fire safety advice.