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Christmas & New Year

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service wishes everybody a safe and happy Christmas.

During December the monthly average number of fires, injuries and fatalities more than doubles. Keep Safe This Christmas.

Christmas is a time for celebrations, with many family and friends coming together to enjoy the festivities.  Without taking extra care, it is easy to become distracted with so much going on and easy for disaster to strike.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to ensure everyone has a safe and happy festive season and asks that you take a moment to read our top tips for keeping you and your family safe this Christmas and New Year. 

Please follow our advice for keeping safe this Christmas and New Year.

Smoke alarms

  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home. A working alarm can give you and your family the vital time needed to escape a fire.
  • Ensure you test your smoke alarms regularly.
  • NEVER remove the batteries from your smoke alarms.

Escape plan

  • Make a fire escape plan and discuss it with your family. Ensure any visiting friends and family are aware of the escape plan too.
  • Ensure you have a bedtime safety check routine. Check Christmas lights are off, cigarettes are out, candles are out and electrics are off (where possible) before you go to bed.

Electrics

  • 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.

Enjoying a drink at Christmas

  • The direct cause of 25% of all fires can be attributed to alcohol.
  • In 33% of all fires alcohol consumption was a contributing factor.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive – get those taxis booked for any nights out on the town.
  • Never cook after drinking – you can easily become distracted.

Safer cooking

The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area.  Many of us enjoy a merry tipple over the festive season but be sure to avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol.

  • If you've been out for the night get a take away rather than attempt to cook.
  • Turn off all appliances when you have finished cooking.
  • Be wary of being distracted due to a houseful of guests.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. 

Candle safety

  • Keep candles away from decorations, Christmas trees, cards, wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Ensure candles are out of reach from pets and children.

Decorations

  • Unplug Christmas lights when you're going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Check lights conform to a safety standard, e.g. British Standard 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 with too many lights.
  • Don't block exits with Christmas trees, presents etc.

Heaters

If you are using extra heaters ensure they are away from curtains, sofas, Christmas trees and decorations etc.

Smoking

Put your cigarette out, right out. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired. It's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.

Campaigns

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service runs a 12 day ‘elf and safety’ campaign to promote key Christmas Fire Safety messages. You can download the PDF of the 12 days of Christmas safety tips via the PDF below. 

DFRS - 12 Days of Christmas (pdf 650.07 KB)

Helping others

During the festive season please check on elderly relatives and neighbours as they are at greater risk from fire. Remember to look up for smoke alarms and contact your local fire service if you think they would benefit from a visit from our community fire safety officers.

  • Why not give your friends and relatives a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm or battery powered candle as a gift for Christmas.

Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire - in the event of fire you should get out, stay out and call 999

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service wishes everybody a safe and happy Christmas.