Make sure you avoid a fes­tive fire tragedy

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Fire­fight­ers in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang are call­ing on res­i­dents to take steps to avoid fes­tive tragedies.

In­creased risks at this time of year see Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (SFRS) crews fre­quently called to emer­gen­cies where peo­ple and property are in dan­ger.

Area Man­ager Alan Fair­bairn, the lo­cal se­nior of­fi­cer, said: “This is tra­di­tion­ally a busy time of year for our crews but many of the emer­gen­cies we see could be pre­vented if peo­ple had recog­nised com­mon risks and taken ac­tion to ad­dress them.

“Over the next few weeks most of us will be cel­e­brat­ing and of course this of­ten in­volves peo­ple drink­ing al­co­hol.

“Most house fires start in the kitchen and when some­one has been drink­ing their guard goes down, mean­ing it’s very easy for them to be­come dis­tracted.

“If they try to cook it can eas­ily re­sult in a house fire with hor­rific con­se­quences, so we want peo­ple to understand al­co­hol and cook­ing can be a deadly mix and choose not to put them­selves and oth­ers in dan­ger.”

While cook­ing re­mains the most com­mon cause of fire within the home, a num­ber of other risk fac­tors also con­trib­ute to De­cem­ber and Jan­uary be­ing the months with the high­est num­ber of house fires.

Smok­ing, of­ten com­bined with al­co­hol, is the main cause of fa­tal fires and peo­ple who smoke are urged never to do so in bed or even if they’re tired and sit­ting in a chair, as fall­ing asleep could cause a dev­as­tat­ing fire.

Fire­fight­ers are also clear on the need for res­i­dents to make sure fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions are not invit­ing tragedy.

Area Man­ager Fair­bairn added: “We want ev­ery­one who is mark­ing the fes­tive sea­son to have a great time and not ex­pe­ri­ence the tragedy that can fol­low a fire within the home.

“Christ­mas lights and other elec­tri­cal dec­o­ra­tions should al­ways be un­plugged when you leave the house or go to bed.

“Bulbs can be­come very hot so we need to make sure they aren’t touch­ing ma­te­ri­als that scorch or burn eas­ily and they need to be in good work­ing or­der – so any that have blown should be changed.”

“It’s also vi­tally im­por­tant peo­ple don’t over­load sock­ets. If you need to plug more than one ap­pli­ance into an elec­tri­cal socket then please use a multi-socket adap­tor which is fit­ted with a fuse and has surge pro­tec­tion.

“If peo­ple are us­ing can­dles then they need to make sure they’re al­ways out of the reach of chil­dren and never lit where they could be eas­ily knocked over.

“They also need to be po­si­tioned away from things that could catch fire – in­clud­ing Christ­mas trees, cards, rib­bons and other dec­o­ra­tions – and a lit can­dle should never be left unat­tended.”

SFRS is ap­peal­ing for ev­ery­one to help pro­tect those around them, par­tic­u­larly older peo­ple who may need some help and sup­port to stay safe in their homes.

Free home fire safety vis­its, con­ducted by lo­cal fire­fight­ers, can be ar­ranged by call­ing 0800 0731 999 or vis­it­ing www.firescot­land. gov.uk, where peo­ple can also find a wide range of tips on how to stay safe.

Safety first make sure you and your fam­ily aren’t put in dan­ger this Christ­mas

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