Cambs FRS, Stay fire safe this festive season

With the festive season only around the corner, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging families to stay fire safe over Christmas.

Simple things like remembering batteries for new toys rather than using the ones in a smoke alarm, to making sure electric sockets are not overloaded and keeping cooking surfaces clutter free, can all help to prevent a fire in the home.

Group Commander Paul Clarke, head of Community Fire Safety, said: “Half of all fires in the home are started in the kitchen, with more than 50 per cent of those as a result of distraction while cooking. With Christmas dinner often being the showcase event of the festivities, it’s important to make sure you are well prepared and don’t let the meal go up in smoke.

“Another common mistake over the festive period is forgetting the batteries in that all important present, with smoke alarm batteries often providing a temporary fix. It is really important to leave the batteries in your smoke alarms and make sure they are working.

"Candles can make great presents for people, both to give and to receive. It is however very important to take care when using them, for example never leave them burning overnight and keep away from curtains and out of reach of children. Also use a proper holder and fit firmly in place, on a flat surface, before lighting. 

“Finally it is very easy to overload plug sockets with lights and other festive ornaments. Please make sure any extension leads are in good condition and not left on for too long, and certainly not used with other multi-plug adapters.”

This time of year is also the time to visit relatives, especially those that might be elderly and living alone.

Group Commander Clarke added: “Christmas is a time of year to call in on loved ones. If you do visit elderly relatives, make sure their home is fire safe, for example checking for smoke alarms and giving them a test. If you have concerns about a relative, particularly if they live alone, get in touch with us to find out about a free Safe and Well visit, where we can provide advice about fire safety and staying well.”

Below are some simple tips to follow:

  • Have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home and test it regularly
  • Make sure you never leave cooking unattended and do not cook when tired or under the influence of alcohol
  • Keep cooking areas clear and don’t leave anything flammable, such as tea towels or oven gloves, on or near the hob
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm which is correctly fitted and works. Never take the batteries out to power presents
  • Switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Make sure they conform to the British Standard and never overload plug sockets or extension leads.
  • Never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings and never leave a burning candle unattended. Decorations can burn easily, so don’t hang them near lights or heaters.
  • If you do find a fire in your home, get out, stay out and call 999.

More information is available on our website