Fire hazards during the Christmas period

As the Christmas period is quickly approaching we know you are all excited to decorate your homes, however we all need to be aware of the tragedies that can be caused by fire hazards at this time of year.

Christmas Trees

Artificial, flame-resistant trees are a much safer option for Christmas.

However, if you’re thinking of purchasing a real tree this Christmas there are a few things you need to be aware of:

  • Real trees burn rapidly – It’s always best to keep a tree in a bucket of water to prevent the tree from drying out and reducing the risk of fire.
  • Dispose of your tree quickly – the quicker you do it the better. Trees are a massive fire risk and storing it in a garage or garden could be potential fuel for a fire. You can dispose of your tree by taking it to a recycling centre or having it taken away by a community pickup service – never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
  • The needles should be green and hard to pull back from branches – if the needles fall out easily that means the tree has been cut a long time ago and has dried out causing a fire hazard. 
  • Never place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat may dry out the tree causing it to be more easily ignited.
  • Avoid keeping your tree up for too long – do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.

The best way to tackle a Christmas tree fire is by the use of a Water Mist Extinguisher. The UltraFire Water Mist extinguisher from Safelincs is the perfect option.

Fairy Lights

  • Check fuses (see the box for the maximum size fuse you should use)
  • If any bulbs have blown, replace them
  • Throw out old fashioned incandescent bulb Christmas lights and replace with LED lights
  • Never leave fairy lights on when you go out, or go to bed
  • Make sure the bulbs aren’t touching anything that could burn easily
  • Never overload sockets

Candles

  • Never leave a candle lit if you are not in the room – remember, it can only take a minute for a fire to start
  • Always keep candles away from Christmas trees, curtains, paper decorations, children, pets and never light a candle on a shelf under a wall mounted TV

Decorations

  • Remember, decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard can burn easily
  • Never attach decorations to lights or heaters
  • Never put them above the fireplace
  • Keep away from candles
  • Remember, Christmas novelties and decorations are not toys and they do not have to comply with toy safety regulations – please them high up and out of reach of young hands

Gifts

  • Beware of trailing cables and wires in the rush to connect new gadgets and appliances, and always read the instructions
  • Clear up wrapping paper as you go – wrapping paper can easily get knocked into the fireplace or a candle and catch on fire
  • Make sure you have a jug of water close at hand and your crackers, paper hats, cards etc. are all cleaned up before you light your Christmas Pudding – it’s easy to be too generous with the spirits

Don’t forget to make sure you’ve recently tested your fire alarm!