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Stay Safe this Festive Season

14th December 2009

With Christmas fast approaching, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) is urging people to stay fire safe throughout the festive season.

At this time of year homes are often decorated with lights, decorations and candles. With appropriate care and attention, British Standard “kite marked” decorations and lights are safe to use.
Group Manager for Community Safety, Trevor Lund said: “Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, but think about it, - lots of extra guests, decorations, people smoking – all the fire risks get bigger. Some of the main causes of fire in the home at this time of year are candles left unattended and Christmas tree lights left on for long periods, very often overnight.”

Statistics show that people are 50% more likely to die in an accidental home fire during the Christmas period than at any other time of the year.
Households can take some simple steps for a safe Christmas:

  • Make sure decorative lights carry the British Standard “Kite Mark”,
  • Turn Christmas tree lights off at night. Remove the plug; remove the risk of a fire starting.
  • Don’t leave candles unattended. Keep them away from children.
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor level of your home. Don’t take the batteries out to power Christmas toys.
  • Extinguish cigarettes before going to bed.
  • Get out alive.  Plan an escape route and make sure your family knows how to get out in the event of fire.

Trevor Lund continued: “However people celebrate this festive period, we want them to be safe. We offer free Home Fire Risk Checks to identify potential risks and advise what to do to reduce the chances, or to  prevent, a fire starting in your home. We also fit smoke alarms as part of this service, especially for elderly and vulnerable members of the community. If you have been putting it off this year, make it your New Year’s resolution to get in touch with us.”

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check call our Fire Safety Advice Line on 01609 788545, or contact your local fire station.

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