Christmas is the busiest time of the year for many of our communities, with family gatherings, houses and trees being decorated, and festive feasts to prepare. However, with these additional distractions, the risk of fire-related incidents also increases.
Over the last Christmas period (5th December 2022 to 8th January 2023) the two joint highest causes of all fires in the home attended by Cleveland Fire Brigade were cooking related (25%) and electrical issues (25%), followed by radiated heat (16%).
Robin Turnbull, Area Manager, Prevention, Protection and Engagement at Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “The last thing you want at this time of year is a fire in the home which could put you and your family in danger, cause horrific damage and leave you without a home to celebrate in, so we are appealing for our residents to take extra precautions to ensure they have a joyful and incident free Christmas celebration.”
“Please look out for hazards in the home to reduce the risk of fire. Switch off fairy lights before you go out or go to bed, don’t overload sockets and ensure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home which will give you and your family the best chance of survival should a fire break out.”
“Many incidents we attend occur in the kitchen, making it the most dangerous room in the home, especially over Christmas when people may be more inclined to have a festive tipple at any time of the day. Therefore, we’re asking everyone to take particular care in the kitchen. Simple measures such as not drinking and cooking, ensuring you have a clean hob and oven, keeping a close eye on cooking, and setting a timer on your phone or smart speaker can all help reduce the chance of fire.” Added Robin Turnbull.
Follow our festive cooking tips to help keep you and your family safe this Christmas:
- Stand by your pan – don’t leave cooking unattended
- Don’t drink and cook – alcohol and cooking do not mix
- Chuck out your chip pan – every year they cause 20% of all accidental home fires in the UK. Where possible use an air fryer instead
- Keep it clean – a build-up of food deposit and fats can provide fuel for fire
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home
- If a fire does start in your kitchen – Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999.