As the celebrations begin over the festive period, people are urged not to forget about fire safety in the home.
Most house fires start in the kitchen and people are asked to take care when cooking the Christmas dinner and preparing food over the festive period.
Decorations and heating can also be fire hazards over Christmas and the general winter period, so Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is urging extra vigilance.
MFRS is asking people to protect themselves, as well as their families and friends, by following this simple safety advice.
Tips for a Fire Safe Festive Season
Never leave cooking unattended on the hob. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high-risk area.
Many of us enjoy a merry tipple over the festive season but be sure to avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol.
People should avoid cooking while tired and should be careful not to fall asleep while food is cooking in the oven.
Ensure cookers and electrical appliances are switched off after use.
Never leave burning candles unattended and keep candles out of the reach of children and pets, and away from the Christmas tree, cards, decorations, fires, lights, heaters, curtains or other combustible materials.
Candles should be completely extinguished after use and they should be placed in a correct holder.
Fairy lights should always be switched off and unplugged when going to bed or when leaving the house.
Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598) and are in good working order before use.
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 at any DIY store.
Heaters should be switched off after use and should never be used to dry clothes. They can start fires when things are placed too close to them, including curtains, furniture, Christmas decorations, cards and wrapping paper.
Don’t overload sockets. Ensure 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.
Electric blankets should be unplugged before going to bed.
Open fires should be properly extinguished before going to bed and people are advised to use a fire guard
People should close the doors to each room when they go to bed, which can prevent the fire spreading if it breaks out.
Do something good this Christmas: test the smoke alarms of someone you know who may need help such as an older relative or vulnerable member of the community, particularly if they live alone.
A working smoke alarm can give people the vital time needed to escape in a fire. It is advised that people have a smoke alarm fitted on every floor of their property. Test smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries. For free fire safety advice call Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958. In the event of a fire people should get out, stay out and call 999.