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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

'Push the button' while trimming the tree

27/11/2014

firefighter's with ladder
Firefighters with ladder

Festive fans are being urged to ‘push the button’ on their smoke alarms when they start decking the halls this Advent.

"Approximately 7,000 house fires are caused every year across England due to faulty electrics so it is vital that any tree lights, which are only used once a year, are given a thorough check before being used and that plug sockets are not overloaded." 

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

The Service is also encouraging people to follow the below advice in order to protect themselves and their families when they are putting up their Christmas trees and decorations.

•    Ensure Christmas lights have the British Safety Standard mark
•    Do not attach decorations to lights or heaters as they can burn easily
•    Never place candles near to Christmas trees or materials that can catch fire easily
•    Do not overload plug sockets and always switch Christmas lights and other electrical appliances off and unplug them before going to bed

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: “A lot of people will be putting up their Christmas trees and festive decorations when Advent starts on December 1 so it is a great opportunity to check that your smoke alarms are working at the same time.

“Approximately 7,000 house fires are caused every year across England due to faulty electrics so it is vital that any tree lights, which are only used once a year, are given a thorough check before being used and that plug sockets are not overloaded.

“Also, think carefully about where you are putting your tree and any candles - keep them well away from curtains which can catch fire easily, leading to potentially devastating consequences. If you know an older or vulnerable person, we would urge you to help them with their decorations so that they do not fall victim to potential risks and to test their smoke alarms too. We have seen many recent cases across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent where detectors have literally saved people’s lives.”

Residents can sign up for a weekly email reminder to test their smoke alarms. This can be done by logging on to http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/pushthebutton.asp.

Bookings are also available for free Home Fire Risk Checks where members of the team visit people in their homes, offering safety advice and fitting smoke alarms.

Alternatively, residents can ring the freephone number on 0800 0241 999 and a mutually convenient time will be set for the visit to take place.

All members of staff carry an identity card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.