Fire safety during the festive period
The festive period can present extra fire hazards in your home. To stay safe in your home and reduce the risks of fire, please consider the advice below and watch the video to see what things you should be looking out for.
Decorations and fairy lights
- Check the fuses are the right type. You can do this by checking the box the fuses come in
- Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598)
- If bulbs blow or are damaged, replace them
- Unplug the lights when you go to bed or leave the house
- If bulbs are touching anything which can burn easily, move them away immediately
- Do not over load power sockets
- If decorations are made of cardboard or other light material, they are at greater risk of burning when exposed to heat sources
- Do not place any decorations on sources of heat such as fireplaces or electrical items
- Use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment (a safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault)
Christmas trees can fill a room with fire and toxic gases within minutes if ignited. Here are some tips for a safer Christmas tree:
- A Christmas tree which is older will be drier and therefore presents a fire hazard. To find out whether the tree is old, gently bounce it on the ground. If a considerable amount of needles fall off it has probably dried out due to being cut a while ago and therefore presents a greater fire hazard
- Keep your tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces or heat vents. The heat will dry out the tree making it easier to be ignited
- Do not leave the tree up for longer than four weeks
- Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times
- When your tree becomes dry, dispose of it promptly via a local recycling centre or a community pickup service
- Test your smoke alarm weekly and never remove batteries to power presents
- Plan your escape route. Make sure you, your family and visitors know the quickest way out in the event of a fire. Consider an alternative route in case your usual one is blocked
During cold weather in the winter you may be using additional heating in your home. It's important that you stay safe, and watch out for potential dangers.
For more information on fire safety in your home, click here.