Watch those fairy light and candles – that’s the warning from the Wicklow County Fire Service as the Christmas preparations gather pace.
Christmas is a time of heightened potential for fire, especially in the home when extra lights are plugged in, trees or other decorations may be placed near open fires, candles are lit and other hazards can arise.
That is why the Wicklow County Fire Service is providing some timely tips to ensure everyone has a happy Christmas this year.
According to Wicklow Chief Fire Officer, Aidan Dempsey, a smoke alarm is a vital piece of equipment no home should be without, especially at this time of year. But there are also a number of other safety measures the public should be aware of:
• Always make sure your chimney is cleaned before Christmas
• Keep trees away from candles, fireplaces or any heat sources
• Unplug all Christmas lights and electrical appliances and put out all candles before you go to bed or leave the house
• Make sure any lights you are using outside are suitable for outdoors with the appropriate transformer
• Never overload electric sockets
• Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets and make sure they are on a firm surface or in a candle-holder
• Keep candles away from curtains, vents or draughts and never place them on top of a television
• Fit a spark guard to open fires
• Check your smoke alarm is in working order and never remove the batteries to use in toys
• Close doors to all rooms at night in order to restrict the spread of fire and smoke around the house should a fire break out
“Everyone can play a part in preventing fires at this time of year, to ensure a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year”, said Mr Dempsey.
If an emergency does arise over Christmas dial 999/112 for help.