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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fire service issues seasonal safety advice

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to residents to spare a thought for safety in the run up to Christmas.

Firefighters have attended events in Llangollen, Johnstown, Penmaenmawr, Caernarfon and Abersoch to spread the word on Christmas fire safety.

Gareth Griffiths, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "The build up to Christmas and New Year can be a time to relax and enjoy the party atmosphere - but extra vigilance is vital to prevent a fire that could easily devastate the family home with the loss of presents and valuables, or even worse seriously injure you or a loved one."

Gareth explained that Christmas trees, lights and decorations add considerably to fire risk in the home and shared these golden rules for festive fire safety:
  • Always turn Christmas tree lights off and remove the plug at night, and when the room is going to be unoccupied for a length of time.
  • Ensure Christmas lights carry the British Safety Standard mark.
  • Do not overload plug sockets.
  • Ensure candles are in proper holders so they can't fall over, and do not leave lit candles unattended for any length of time.
  • Make sure open fires are well guarded and that wrapping paper, Christmas decorations etc., are kept well away.
  • Make sure smokers extinguish their cigarettes completely.
  • Take extra care after drinking alcohol.
  • Push the button, not your luck - Check your smoke alarms are working and don't be tempted to use the batteries to power any Christmas presents.
  • Make your plan. Get out alive - will everyone (including guests) know where your door and window keys are kept?
  • Don't be distracted when cooking - fire starts when your attention stops.
Gareth added: "Everyone likes to enjoy themselves over Christmas, and we're just asking them to keep safety in mind while celebrating. I'd also like to remind residents about the dangers of cooking after drinking alcohol - cooking and drinking just don't mix.

"We all need to consider the possible consequences of our actions and think safe to stay safe."

For more advice on fire safety and for the opportunity to have free smoke alarms fitted in your home, please contact North Wales Fire and Rescue Service for a free home fire safety check.

* To register, please call our free 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text 88365, ensuring you prefix your message with the word HFSC.

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