We’re #HereForYou this Christmas

It’s that festive time of year, the time to reflect and at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, we’d like to take the time to remind you to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this Christmas.

As many of us will be planning to catch-up with family and friends and reconnect this Christmas, we’re urging you to remain vigilant while enjoying the festive delights.

The majority of kitchen fires are caused by being distracted while cooking, with falling asleep being a close second.  Adding some festive drinks into the mix could be a recipe for disaster and puts your home, your loved ones and yourself at risk. Fires can quickly spread out of control and lead to devastating consequences. In the last three years, one in three accidental house fires during the festive period were caused by unattended cooking.

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re cooking a big meal – it only takes a few seconds for a fire to start. So if you’re planning on cooking a festive feast at home this year, be sure to keep watch on your turkey, salmon or nut roast!

Head of Community Safety and Partnerships for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, St. John Towell, said:

“Experiencing a fire in your home at any time of the year can be devastating, but this is heightened over the festive period.  We want you to enjoy the holidays safely and take the necessary steps to prevent fires from occurring.

From candles to Christmas lights to overloaded sockets to cooking left unattended, it only takes a few seconds for a fire to start so it’s important to not get distracted and concentrate on what you’re doing. Keep yourself and others safe and have a read through our safety tips and advice. Even the simplest things like having a working smoke alarm and testing it regularly or having and practising an escape plan could prevent tragedy.

From everyone at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service please stay safe and look after one another. Merry Christmas all.”

Celebrate the festivities safely and avoid flashing blue lights this Christmas by following our safety advice and guidance:

  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted in your home and test them regularly! See our guide on Beeping Smoke Alarms
  • Create a night-time 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
  • 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 getting out the tinsel and baubles, be sure to…

  • Check cables for any damage
  • Don’t overload sockets – use one plug per socket
  • Keep candles away from decorations and blow them out before you go to bed
  • Don’t let the lightbulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper
  • ALWAYS unplug Christmas lights when you’re going to bed or leaving the house – over the festive period, around 1 in 4 accidental house fires we attend are caused by an electrical fault
  • More safety information here

Whether you’re doing some last minute Christmas shopping or delivering presents to 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

If you’re running low on time and thinking of 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

To ensure you, your family, your neighbours and the emergency services can all stay safe this year, please continue to follow Welsh Government guidelines over the festive period.

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.

Whatever you’re doing, keep safe, think it through, and know that this holiday, we’re here for you.