Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging Staffordshire residents to take care as they prepare their homes for the Christmas period.
“We want everyone to have a great Christmas and don’t want their festivities blighted by avoidable fires.”
Risk Reduction Manager, Graham Mills
Each year the Service is called to incidents involving Christmas trees, lights, candles and overloaded plug sockets - incidents which can often be avoided if safety advice is followed.
Last year, 38% of all incidents which took place in Staffordshire over the festive period were caused by electrical faults, overloaded sockets or candles.
Risk Reduction Manager, Graham Mills said: “We see the same mistakes made each year when people are decorating their houses for Christmas. Faulty fairy lights set trees on fire, plug sockets are overloaded and start fires, and candles are left burning unattended near to combustible materials such as curtains.
“We urge residents to take fire safety into account when they put up their decorations this year. Ensure that fairy lights have been checked for any damage and that they conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).
“Make sure the Christmas tree and any other decorations are a safe distance away from open fires, heaters and candles, and don’t overload plug sockets. We would also encourage people to turn off festive lights overnight.”
The National Institute of Standards and Technology produced a short video showing just how quickly a Christmas tree can catch fire and destroy an entire room – in less than 60 seconds.
Graham added: “We want everyone to have a great Christmas and don’t want their festivities blighted by avoidable fires.”