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It only takes a minute for a fire to spread

The most magical time of the year is approaching us and Christmas activities have begun. Christmas may be a time for festive fun but it is also a time to be extra vigilant, even in your own home. Christmas trees, lights and other decorations can be a potential high risk fire hazard.

From 2017-18, 963 fires were caused by candles.*

From 2017-18, 25 fires were caused by fairy lights, 11 of which were due to being faulty.*

From 2011-12, Christmas trees, decorations and cards caused 47 house fires.**

In 2008 there was a peak in injuries and deaths caused by accidental fires. ***

Recently on social media, there have been videos of how a wet tree vs a dry tree reacts when a fire breaks out. This is to highlight the importance of watering your tree throughout December. This is because an un-watered tree can go up in flames in a matter of seconds and this is what we call a flashover.

A flashover can happen in under one minute and once it has started it is very hard to get it under control. These flashovers are not just caused by unwatered trees, they can be caused by other decorations or household items in your home.

You can decrease the risk of fire in your home by taking a few simple steps:

  • Ensure you are regularly watering your real Christmas trees all throughout December.
  • Only buy your fairy lights from trusted retailers.
  • Turn off any fairy lights when you are not in the room.
  • Don’t overload your plug sockets.
  • Try LED candles instead of traditional candles.
  • If you use traditional candles, ensure they are monitored and kept away from any flammable materials.
  • Don’t hang decorations on lighting or heaters.
  • Ensure all fire doors in your building are kept closed.
  • Consider investing in fire blankets or extinguishers.

Don’t let a fire be the Grinch that stole your Christmas!

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