Reducing the risk of fire this Christmas


Christmas Candles

Christmas is the time of year where we can relax, spend time with friends and family and fill our homes with festive cheer. But to make sure we can enjoy the holiday to the full, it’s a good idea to take a few moments to make sure you’re celebrating safely.

A lot of our Christmas activities and decorations can increase the risk of fires in the home, so have a quick look through our tips below to make sure you have a safe and merry Christmas.

Fire and candles

  • Don’t leave a lit fire or candle unattended and keep anything that may melt or catch fire well away, like greetings cards, trees and stockings
  • LED candles are a great alternative to real candles – and are much safer
  • Always use a heat resistant candle holder to avoid burn marks and catch hot wax
  • If you do have a fire, make sure you use a fire guard if you have children or pets to make sure they can’t get too close and hurt themselves
  • Check your smoke alarm at least once a month. If it doesn’t beep or if it’s beeping for no obvious reason, this could also mean it needs new batteries. If it still isn’t working after changing the batteries, please report it to us

Christmas trees

  • Purchase an artificial tree if you can – they’re less of a fire risk and you can reuse them year after year, which saves money in the long run
  • Keep trees, whether real or fake, away from heat sources like radiators and light fittings
  • If you have a real tree that needs watering, keep the water away from any lights, cables and plug sockets
  • Try to purchase battery-powered tree lights rather than ones which plug into sockets – this saves money on electricity and reduces the risk of overloading sockets

Christmas decorations

  • Make sure Christmas trees and other decorations don’t block fire escapes or emergency signs
  • Check that any decorations that do need plugging in don’t overload the sockets – and if you need an extension cord make sure you don’t overload it with too many items
  • Make sure any lightweight decorations, like Christmas cards or paper snowflakes, aren’t placed in draughty areas – they could easily be blown over into candles
  • Please check with your Scheme Manager when decorating communal areas, to make sure you are not blocking any fire escape routes


  • The majority of house fires start in the kitchen, so never leave your cooker unattended when it’s on
  • Don’t cook if you’ve been drinking alcohol – instead think about ordering a takeaway or finishing up the cheese and biscuits!  
  • Never leave children alone in the kitchen. Even if the oven’s off, there are plenty of sharp and dangerous items around
  • Take extra care if you’re wearing loose or hanging clothing, like scarves or paper hats, and keep tea towels and cloths a safe distance from your cooker.

For more information about fire safety in your home, click here.