Christmas Fire Safety Advice from NIFRS

Christmas is a special time of the year for celebrations, with family and friends coming together to enjoy the festivities. However, candles, overloaded electrics and cooking all increase the risk of fire within the home at this time of year.


Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service would like to ensure the whole Community has a safe and happy festive season and asks that you consider this fire safety advice for keeping you and your family safe this Christmas and New Year:
Have a working smoke alarm fitted on all levels of your property. A working smoke alarm will give you and your family the vital time needed to escape a fire.
Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking whilst under the influence of
alcohol. Make sure cooking appliances are turned off after use.
Check your Christmas lights are in good working order and conform to the British
Standard. Look for the BS Kitemark to ensure that your lights meet the
appropriate standard.
Never overload sockets and always turn Christmas lights off before going to bed
or if you are leaving the house. Remember one plug per socket.
Don’t buy fake electrical goods. Look for the British Standard or CE mark to
ensure equipment and chargers comply with UK or European Safety Standards.
If you are using extra heaters during the winter months, make sure they are kept
away from soft furnishings and Christmas decorations.
Keep candles away from soft furnishings, decorations, Christmas trees and
wrapping paper. Ensure they are out of reach from pets and children. Never
leave candles unattended.
Make sure cigarettes are extinguished correctly and never smoke in bed,
particularly if you have been drinking alcohol. Empty ashtrays safely.
Make a fire escape plan and discuss it with your family. Ensure any visiting family and friends are aware of the escape plan too; tell them where you keep door keys.
Keep your escape routes clear; it’s easy for exits to get blocked with Christmas trees and presents.
Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety at this time of year.
Remember, if a fire starts, get everyone out of the property and close all doors behind you. Dial 999 and ask for the Fire & Rescue Service.