Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is asking the public to make it their New Year’s resolution to protect their homes.
While the festive season is drawing to a close there is still plenty of celebrating ahead with New Year’s Eve festivities taking place in many homes.
Unattended cooking and carelessly discarded cigarettes remain two of the most common causes of accidental fires, and NFRS is reminding people of the need to take care in their homes.
By taking a few basic steps people can protect their loved ones and their property and NFRS is urging residents to make increased fire safety one of their New Year’s resolutions.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark McCarty said: "I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas festivities and is looking forward to their New Year celebrations. This has been a busy time for many of our staff and crews, with the flooding in the county before Christmas. We have also been helping out communities in other parts of the country badly affected by recent flooding and I would like to pay tribute to their ongoing hard work in extremely testing conditions.
"So far we have not seen any serious house fires in the county over the Christmas period, partly down to the hard work of our personnel who carry out Home Safety Checks and promote fire safety in the community, and the public who have taken on board our advice. However it’s important to remind people that fire in the home remains a serious risk, not just over the festive season but all year round. We would ask people to take a few moments to follow our safety advice and ensure they really do have a happy New Year.”
Advice for staying safe this winter includes:
· Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. A working alarm can give you the vital time needed to escape in a fire. Test your smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries.
· Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high-risk area. Avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol and always turn off kitchen appliances when finished with them.
· Never leave candles unattended. Keep candles in a secure holder, out of the reach of children and away from flammable material such as curtains, lights and heaters.
· Put your cigarette out - right out. Make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished and take care when drinking alcohol or tired. It's easy to fall asleep while a cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
· Don't overload sockets - ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers.
· Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire - in the event of fire: get out, stay out and call 999.
For further fire safety advice, click here