Our homes become shimmering wonderlands at Christmas – but pretty isn’t always safe. Be wise to these festive fire hazards.
- Place candles in proper, well-fitting holders on heat resistant surfaces.
- Don't place candles near curtains, other fabric or draughts.
- Leave at least a metre between the candle top and any surface above.
- Keep out of reach of children and pets and out of the way of clothes or hair.
- Extinguish candles before you leave the room or go to bed. Double check that they have been put out.
- Check that lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).
- Use LED lights instead of traditional filament Christmas lights as they have lower voltage and generate less heat.
- Always switch off lights when you go out or go to bed.
- Don’t overload sockets with multiple strings of lights.
- Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can easily burn.
- Always use the right type of fuse.
- Replace blown bulbs.
Cardboard and paper decorations
- Keep away from candles.
- Don't fix to lights or heaters.
- Don't place anywhere near a fireplace.
Live Christmas trees
When trees dry out they become a fire hazard, so make sure you:
- Buy a freshly-cut tree with green needles that don’t fall off and a sticky trunk.
- Keep well-watered.
- Don’t position your tree close to a heat source.
- Don't keep for longer than two weeks.
- Never burn the branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.