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It’s a cracker! Fire Service ‘Countdown to Christmas’ Campaign 2016

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) have once again launched their ‘Countdown to Christmas’ social media campaign.

Decorations, lights, candles and heaters are but a few of the hazards that increase the risk to your safety over the festive period. The campaign aims to provide the best advice on how to avoid a Christmas calamity!

The festive safety tips are hidden behind the decorations on the WYFRS Christmas tree animation. A message will be revealed each day in the lead up to the 25th.

They can be viewed on the WYFRS Facebook, YouTube and Twitter page (@WYFRS) using #WYChristmas.

The videos range from supporting the ongoing Cherished campaign, keeping older people safe and well this winter, to sending out stark safety messages about the dangers of taking risks. These risks involve drink driving and even going near open water after a tipple.

West Yorkshire Police (WYP) are also running a thought provoking Drink Drive Campaign #NotTheUsualSuspects reminding people that it is not always the ‘usual suspects’ that drink drive over the festive period.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Chris Kirby said: “It’s hard to believe how fast the year has gone and that Christmas is upon us once again.

“It can be easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement but it’s still so important to be aware of the risks to help keep loved ones and indeed ourselves safe.

“I and all the staff at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be working hard to keep everyone safe during the festivities but please do your bit to help us by following our advice so your Christmas does not become memorable for all the wrong reasons.”

Top Christmas Safety Tips


  • Don’t leave them burning in an empty room.
  • Don’t put them on or too close to a Christmas tree, plants, flowers or foliage.
  • Make sure all candles are in holders that are stable and non-combustible.
  • Avoid placing candles too close to curtains and furniture or where they can be easily knocked over.
  • Never place candles on a plastic bath or on top of the TV.
  • Use LED candles instead of real flames where possible
  • Ensure candles are fully extinguished before you go to bed.


Christmas cooking

  • Don’t be distracted by a phone call or a knock at the door.
  • Never leave cooking unattended even for a moment.
  • If you have to leave the kitchen take pans off the heat and switch off.
  • Never leave young children alone in the kitchen.
  • Don’t cook when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Keep matches out of the reach of children.
  • Take care if you are wearing loose clothing that can easily catch fire.


Safe escape

  • Over the festive season, many family and friends may come to stay. In the event of a fire make sure everyone knows how to leave the house safely.
  • Make a fire escape plan for your home.
  • Keep all exits and passageways free from obstructions.
  • Make sure all occupants know where the keys for the doors and windows are kept.
  • When going to bed always ensure that all electrical items are switched off and all doors are fully closed.
  • Have a back-up escape plan in case your original route is obstructed.
  • Practice and review the plan if the layout of your house changes.

Christmas lights

  • Ensure your Christmas lights conform to British standards or the European “CE” mark.
  • Check to ensure that the lights are fitted with an approved plug with a 3 amp fuse or a mains transformer for low voltage lights.
  • Only use the correct spare bulbs and ensure that a fuse bulb (normally painted white) is fitted.
  • Always remove the plug from the mains before changing bulbs.
  • Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper.
  • Don’t overload sockets.

Outdoor Christmas lights

  • All outdoor lights should be waterproof and weatherproof.
  • Always buy good quality electrical outdoor lighting equipment from a reputable retailer.
  • Test the Residual Circuit Device (RCD) in accordance with manufacturer’s s recommendations by means of the integral test button on the unit.
  • If in doubt to the safety of outdoor lights switch them off and consult a qualified electrician.
  • Check your lights for damage before switching on.
  • Ensure your Christmas lights conform to British standards or the European “CE” mark and are suitable for outdoor use.
  • Avoid using Chinese lanterns, they pose a fire risk and are a danger to animals



  • Never drink and drive.
  • Ensure your car is winter ready – check tyres and engine fluids.
  • Stick to speed limits.


Cold weather

  • Never be tempted to stray on to frozen water.
  • There’s no such thing as safe ice.
  • Stay warm and stay well this winter
  • Cherish campaign – check in on older relatives, friends and neighbours, cherish older people this winter.
  • Had a little tipple? Stay away from open water
  • Always drive to the weather conditions and take care on untreated roads


Smoke alarms

  • Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home.
  • Test your smoke alarm weekly. The easiest way to protect your family and home is to fit a smoke alarm.
  • Replace the battery or alarm immediately when necessary.
  • Special alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Never disconnect the batteries from your smoke alarm.


If you have concerns about fire safety in your home book a FREE Home Fire Safety Check at your nearest fire station, by calling 0800 5874536 or visiting