Festive season can be a high risk time for fire in the home says fire service
WHILE Christmas is generally a wonderful time for celebration, it is not without its risks.
Almost every home puts up a Christmas tree dripping in electric fairy lights and there is an abundance of candles lit to help create a festive ambience.
Wicklow Fire Service advises that Christmas and into New Year can be a high risk period for fire in the home and have issued some helpful safety tips to ensure that incidents are prevented where possible and so that the people of the Garden County enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.
Christmas trees often increase fire risk. The fire service advises that trees are kept away from candles, heaters, fireplaces and other heat sources.
Real trees should be securly fixed in a sturdy base filled with water and after Christmas they should be disposed of correctly. Christmas trees should not be burned. When it comes to Christmas lights, consumers should only buy Christmas lights marked with a safety standard (e.g. I.S. B.S. or C.E.). All connections should be checked and if using old lights, examine the wiring to ensure they are not worn. If in doubt, throw them out and never overload sockets. All Christmas lights and electrical appliances should be unplugged before leaving your home or going to bed at night. Candles also pose increased risk and should be kept well out of the reach of children and pets and never lit near the Christmas tree.
The wick should be trimmed to 6mm each time before burning and candles should be placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface, never on the floor.
Never place a candle on top of a TV set or other similar appliance, and keep them away from curtains and always extinguish them before going to bed or leaving home.
Other general fire safety tips advised by the fire service are to never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace, extinguish cigarettes properly and use a spark guard in front of an open fire.
Also check that your smoke alarms are in perfect working order.