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Don't let your Christmas go up in smoke.


7:15am 21st December 2010

Don’t let your Christmas go up in smoke in North Yorkshire


Fire safety footage released by the Fire Kills campaign on YouTube shows just how quickly festive celebrations could go up in smoke this Christmas www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtjGfr0tYs.


Statistics from 2009 show that of the 347 domestic fires in North Yorkshire, December was one of the busiest months for fire fighters with a total of 42. This short film aims to hammer home the reality of increased fire risk over the festive season and people are being urged to help spread the warning to friends and family through their social media networks.


The one-minute video counts the seconds as a house fire sparked by faulty fairy lights takes hold, reminding people just how little time they have to escape should a fire break out.


Many people are unaware of the potential fire hazards and toxic threats that can lurk in fairy lights, candles and flammable Christmas decorations. As a result Fire and Rescue Services across the country are urging people to take extra care as they get into the festive spirit this Christmas - dry Christmas trees, decorations and wrapped presents can all provide means for a fire to spread in the home.


The Government's Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser Sir Ken Knight said: "Everyone enjoys the festive cheer that a Christmas tree and decorations can bring to a home. But the sad fact is that all this can act as extra fuel for a potential house fire. Unsafe electrical decorations, overloaded plugs and unattended candles are all potential causes of fire.


"Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke from a fire can render a person unconscious and you have less time to escape than you think. It only takes a minute for festive celebrations to go up in smoke, so I urge everyone to be fire safe this year and have a great Christmas."


Fire Kills' top tips to stay safe from fire this Christmas


  • 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 and avoid cooking whilst drunk. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
  • Never leave candles unattended. Keep decorations, cards and wrapping paper away from candles, fires, lights and heaters.
  • Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your Christmas tree lights 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).
  • 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.
  • Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly and never smoke in bed. Put it out, right out.
  • Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety at this time of year.
  • Ask the experts - Many fire and rescue services in England offer free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them. This may even include the free installation of a smoke alarm - the ideal gift for keeping your family safe.
  • And finally, in the event of fire: get out, stay out and call 999.


For more information on fire safety in the home, or Home Fire Risk Checks, go to www.direct.gov.uk/firekills.

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