Celebrations are an excuse to have fun, not an excuse for a fire!
Fire safety is the last thing on your mind when you’re celebrating. But think about it – lots of guests, extra decorations, people smoking – all the everyday fire risks get bigger. Don’t let fire safety stop you enjoying yourself – know the risks and plan ahead.
Decorative lights don’t get used every day so give them a bit of extra thought.
- Check the maximum amps that can be handled by the fuse in the plug. Most decorative lights should be fitted with a 3amp fuse, so don’t try and wire extra sets into the same plug!
- If bulbs blow, replace them. If bulbs continue to blow, replace the lights.
- Turn decorative lights off at night and when you go out.
- Don’t let bulbs touch anything that can burn easily like paper, fabrics and tinsel
Treat candles as you would any other flame
- Don’t leave them unattended
- Put them out completely at night
- Don’t let them fall over, use a candlestick holder
- Always place candles on heat resistant surfaces, even tea lights can melt plastic surfaces like TV tops
- Keep them away from anything that can catch fire, like curtains, decorations and artificial Christmas trees.
Fireworks and Decorations
Given half a chance, paper decorations will burn
- Use common sense and keep decorations and greeting cards away from heaters, lights, the fireplace and candles
- Don’t fool with fireworks, they’re explosives not toys
- Only buy fireworks marked with British Safety Standards BS7114 and always read the instructions.
Having a party
Do yourself and your visitors a favour – don’t leave fire safety to the morning after!
- Let your guests know where to find window and door keys
- Look out for elderly people, children and anyone with problems getting about.
- Make sure exits are clear
- If people are smoking, put out extra ashtrays and make sure all cigarettes are put out properly – cigarettes can burn at over 700C, they’re hotter than you think!
Real Life – Unhappy Christmas
On Christmas Eve 2001, the Lloyd family popped next door for a Christmas Drink.
‘I didn’t give the fairy lights a second thought’ says Pauline Lloyd ‘only to think how nice they looked.’
It’s an oversight Pauline wished she could forget.
The fairy lights set fire to the curtains. Luckily a neighbour spotted the flames and raised the alarm.
‘We had a miserable start to the New Year’, says Pauline. ‘The front room was ruined. I’m so careful now – I never leave any lights on when I go out. It’s not worth the risk’.