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Fire safety at Christmas

todayTuesday 12 December

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

The cosy festive nights are upon us and many of us are spending more time indoors.

This time of the year, there’s many hazards to be aware of.  Kev Lowry is our Fire Safety Expert and has some timely advice so you can have a safe and happy Christmas!

Christmas Trees

A Christmas Tree is the focal point in most homes at this time of the year – but if you have a real tree, you need to make sure it is kept moist.

The best way is using one of those stands which have a water reservoir.  A tree will typically take quite a bit of water – so make sure you keep it topped up.

Because fir trees tend to be very dry and resinous, they can be a fire hazard – and they will burn surprisingly quickly.  A big tree can be completely engulfed in flames within 30 seconds.

Modern artificial trees look better than ever these days and are a safer alternative as they are made with fire-resistant materials.

Fairy Lights

Modern LED fairy lights operate on low voltages and are generally very safe – and unlikely to be the source of a flame when placed on the tree.

Older strings of lights, perhaps ones passed down through the family over the years operate at full voltage with bulbs that can get very hot.  Always be aware of this hazard – and if any wires look frayed, it’s probably best not to use them.

Don't leave fairy lights on when you go out!

Candles

Candles enhance any room, especially at this time of the year – but always be aware that by lighting a flame, you are introducing a small fire into your home!

Container candles (ones in glass jars for example) are generally safer than pillar candles which by nature, tend to have a higher flame.

Always make sure you burn candles away from hazards such as curtains and soft furnishings.  Don’t burn them in a draught – and if burning more than one, keep the candles well apart from each other.

Never leave a candle unattended – and make sure they are extinguished before you go to sleep.

In recent times, wax melts have become very popular – and they can be a much safer way of enjoying some festive scent.

But only ever use metal (aluminium/tin) tea lights and not plastic ones.

The burning chamber in a wax melter gets extremely hot – hot enough to melt a plastic holder!

Resources

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has lots of advice available to help you keep your home safe and secure, not just at Christmas but all year round.

The most important advice is to fit smoke alarms and test them regularly.  We’ll be chatting to Fireman Kev more about this next time.

In the meantime, listen again to the latest episode right here:

Listen Again: Fireman Kev Lowry
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    Fire safety at Christmas ian

Fireman Kev

Kev Lowry is our fire safety expert.  He’s had a long and distinguished career at Manchester Fire Service and within the NHS.

He’s currently also a volunteer at Fireground – the fire and rescue museum based in Rochdale.

Written by: ian


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todayTuesday 12 December


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