Fire service Christmas warning

This is The West Country: Fire service Christmas warning Fire service Christmas warning

DEVON and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are warning people to be extra vigilant over the Christmas period and be on the lookout for fire hazards at home.

Dry Christmas trees, colourful decorations and wrapped presents are all extra fuel for a potential fire into your home.

A statement from the fire service said: “Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to accidental fires in the home, so take extra care this season to ensure that your families, loved ones and neighbours are all protected from the extra Christmas fire risks.

“Most people vastly underestimate the deadly strength of toxic smoke and overestimate how long they would have to escape should a fire break out.

“The reality is that just two to three breaths of smoke in a fire can render a person unconscious.

“Christmas should be a time for celebration rather than tragedy and for this reason Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are urging people to be fire aware and stay fire safe.”

Christmas Fire Safety Tips:

· Festive decorations made of tissue paper or cardboard burn particularly easily, so keep decorations and greeting cards away from heaters, lights, fireplaces and candles

· Ensure you check the smoke alarms in your home are working, check them on a regular basis and do not be tempted to remove batteries to power any Christmas presents

· Most fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area - never leave festive cooking unattended and avoid cooking whilst drunk.

Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking · Never leave candles unattended. Keep decorations, cards and wrapping paper away from candles, fires, lights and heaters

· 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).

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