Put fire safety at the top of your Christmas list, says Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service (From Wiltshire Times)
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Put fire safety at the top of your Christmas list, says Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service
1:00pm Monday 9th December 2013 in News
Fire safety must be at the top of your Christmas list, says Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.
Statistically 20 people a day are either killed or injured in the home during December – the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.
Watch Manager Neil Chamberlain, of the community safety department, said: “Christmas is a time for having fun with family and friends, but it is also a time when extra fire hazards are introduced to the home, such as fairy lights, candles and decorations.
"We want people to be safe and enjoy the holidays, which is why we are providing safety advice wherever we can.”
The service has been out and about in Swindon and Wiltshire to promote home fire safety, including these top tips:
• Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. A working alarm can give you the vital time needed to escape from a fire. Test your smoke alarm weekly and never remover batteries to power presents!
• Make sure gas fires and central heating systems are serviced by a qualified engineer, and install carbon monoxide alarms.
• Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety, as they are at greater risk from fire.
• Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol and always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
• If you smoke, make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished. Take particular care when you’re tired or been drinking, as it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
• Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, candles, cards and wrapping paper.
• Don’t overload sockets – ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they’re not in use, except those that are designed to be left on (such as freezers).
• Ensure you switch off decorative lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house. Check your lights conform to British Standard BS EN 60598.
• Always use a residual current device on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be bought in any DIY store.
• Residual current devices can also be used with electric blankets, to prevent an overload of electricity being supplied to a faulty blanket.
• Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call 999.
For further advice on staying fire safe, visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk or www.facebook.com/firekills
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