By Joshua Robinson –
In the last five years, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (WYFRS) attended 134 cooking-related fires in December, a sharp rise in contrast to other times of the year.
Firefighters at WYFRS are advising everyone to be safe this Christmas.
This time of year typically sees an increase in callouts as the festive period involves many people socialising which can see more accidental fires starting. Things like candles and decorations can also be potential fire hazards, plus, extra cooking means a rise in kitchen fires too.
In December 2022 WYFRS attended 28 festive-related fires (fires caused by cooking, electrical items, and fairy lights and candles).
Leeds District Commander Lee Miller said: “Christmas is a fantastic time of year for those that celebrate with friends and family – but there can hazards and we want to make sure people celebrate safely.”
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“Simple safety tips could make all the difference; don’t leave candles unattended, buy electrical gifts from a reputable retailer and make sure that Christmas lights are marked with a British safety standard. Its also important not to overload electric sockets and extension leads. Following these tips are simple and effective ways to keep you safe.”
Lee Miller added: “The main thing our crews get called out to are incidents involving cooking – so take extra care when whipping up Christmas dinner – don’t do it under the influence and don’t leave the stove unattended.”
“Finally, we’d like to wish our communities a very Happy Christmas – and a safe 2024.”
Christmas Safety Crib Sheet:
- Ensure smoke alarms installed on all levels are working, which are tested regularly – and that any guests over for Christmas know the escape route in case of a fire.
- Never leave cooking unattended, and don’t cook under the influence of alcohol.
- Always turn off kitchen appliances when finished cooking and ensure tea towels and oven gloves aren’t left on the hob.
- Never leave burning candles unattended, and keep away from children, pets, and flammable objects. Always put out candles before going to bed or leaving the property. LED candles are a great alternative.
- Ensure Christmas tree lights are switched off and unplugged before bed or leaving the house.
- If buying electrical goods, please check that they are from a reputable retailer and meet all safety standards.
- If buying batteries or chargers for electrical items, please check that they meet the manufacturers recommendations.
- Check Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598) and are in good working order before use.