04:43AM, Monday 24 December 2012
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue is encouraging the public to stay safe this Christmas and not let fire ruin the festivities.
With the added distractions of the season, fire safety can take a back foot, but the service has warned individuals to be careful.
Statistics show that 20 people a day are either killed or injured in accidental fires in their home in England in December.
To help ensure a fire-free and happy Christmas, follow these fire safety top tips:
• Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. Test your
smoke alarms weekly and never remove batteries to power presents'
• Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high
risk area. Avoid cooking if you’ve been drinking and always turn off kitchen appliances when
you have finished cooking.
• Never leave candles unattended. Keep them out of the reach of children and away from
decorations, cards, wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
• Make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished and take care when you’ve been drinking or
are tired. Never smoke in bed.
• Don't overload sockets – use only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they
are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers.
• Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check they conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).
• Always use an RCD (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 found in any DIY store.
• Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety at this time of year.
• Ask the experts – Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service offers a free Home Fire Safety Check service to eligible people (including the elderly, people with mobility issues and those with visual or audio impairment). This identifies potential fire risks and advises on how to reduce or prevent them, and includes the installation of free smoke alarms where necessary. To check your eligibility, log on to www.rbfrs.co.uk, email email@example.com or call freephone 0800 587 6679.
• In the event of a fire – get out, stay out and call 999.