Have a Safe, Healthy and Happy Christmas #HereForYou

There is no doubt that Christmas is going to be a little different this year and as we all prepare for the likelihood that we will be spending more time at home this festive season, it’s even more important that we remind ourselves, and each other, of some basic safety advice to ensure we celebrate safely.

As restrictions mean that we are likely to be dining in more than eating out this Christmas it is also important that we remain vigilant while cooking, as unfortunately the majority of kitchen fires result from being distracted, with falling asleep being a close second.  Add a few festive drinks into the mix and this could be a recipe for disaster, not only will your kitchen become smoke logged or damage your property, it could also cause serious damage, injury or harm. If you’re not concentrating, then cooking even the simplest meal can cause a fire – so when you’re doing a turkey with all the trimmings, it’s even more important to keep alert. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re cooking a big meal – it only takes a few seconds for a fire to start.

Head of Community Safety and Risk Reduction, Group Manager Dean Loader said: “Fires are devastating at any time of year but this is heightened even more over the festive season.

From candles, Christmas lights, overloaded plug sockets, cooking left unattended, we want you to be safe and take steps to prevent fires from occurring and spoiling the holiday. So make sure you have a look at our safety tips, make sure you have a working smoke alarm and check it regularly, have an escape plan and be aware of some of the potential fire hazards. From everyone at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service please stay safe and look after one another. Merry Christmas all.”

Fires can quickly spread and become out of control, leading to devastating consequences. In the last three years, one in three accidental house fires during the festive period were caused by unattended cooking.

Did you know unattended cooking is one of the biggest causes of house fires in South Wales? We don’t want your celebrations to end in tragedy because of the extra hazards that are present at this time of year.

Here are some tips from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to help keep safe this festive season:

  • Check your smoke alarms work effectively in the event of a fire, view our guide on Beeping Smoke Alarms
  • Create a nighttime safety checklist – take a look at our guide to see how safe your home is
  • Create and practise an Escape Plan

Cooking a festive feast?

  • Never leave cooking unattended – fires start when your attention stops!
  • Where possible, use spark devices instead of matches or lighters to light gas cookers, to avoid the naked flame
  • Remember to turn everything off once you’re finished
  • In the event of a fire in your kitchen, get out, stay out and call 999
  • For top tips on keeping safe, please visit our Cooking Safety page

When you’re decking the halls make sure you…

  • Check your cables for any damage
  • Don’t overload sockets! Remember one plug per socket
  • Keep candles away from decorations
  • Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper
  • ALWAYS unplug Christmas lights when you’re going to bed or leaving the house – in the last three years, one in five accidental house fires during the festive period involved electricity. More safety information here

If you’re out and about doing some last-minute Christmas shopping or safely dropping off presents for your friends and family please take extra care when driving in wintery conditions

  • Leave extra time for your journey
  • Ensure you have full visibility before embarking on your journey
  • Complete our Vehicle Safety Checks
  • NEVER drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Stay safe whilst shopping online…

  • Be aware of counterfeit electrical goods – use Electrical Safety First’s Check it Out Tool
  • Don’t rely on reviews, these can easily be faked
  • If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is!

Over the festive season, almost half of all fires attended by our crews started from rubbish…

  • Please don’t burn your household waste!
  • Dispose of your rubbish carefully, contact your local authority for information on collections and recycling centres, or visit Wales Recycles

We also urge you all to continue to follow the Welsh Government guidelines during the festive period to ensure that you are keeping yourself, your family, your neighbours and the emergency services safe during this time.  For more information and safety messages please go to our website www.southwales-fire.gov.uk  or follow us on our social media channels Twitter / Facebook / Instagram or why not download our Home Safety booklet.