Don’t be another festive fire victim

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Firefighters are calling on people to help prevent festive tragedies by taking small steps to protect their families, homes and communities.

Increased risks at this time of year see Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews frequently called to emergencies where people and property are in danger.

Area Manager Jim Hymas, the local senior officer, said: “This is traditionally a busy time of year for our crews but many of the emergencies we see could be prevented if people had recognised common risks and taken action to address them.

“Over the next few weeks most of us will be celebrating and of course this often involves people drinking alcohol.

“Most house fires start in the kitchen and when someone has been drinking their guard goes down, meaning it’s very easy for them to become distracted.

“If they try to cook it can easily result in a house fire with horrific consequences, so we want people to understand alcohol and cooking can be a deadly mix and choose not to put themselves and others in danger.”

While cooking remains the most common cause of fire, a number of other risk factors contribute to December and January being busy months for fire staff.

Top safety tips of a fire include ensuring you have a working smoke alarm, never smoking in bed, unplugging Christmas lights when you go to bed or leave the house, being careful not to overload sockets, and making sure candles are not placed where they can be knocked over or within reach of children.

During a cold winter people also use gas fires more often, so the time to fit and test carbon monoxide alarms is now, while portable heaters should be kept away from curtains and furniture.

Free home fire safety visitscan be arranged by calling 0800 0731 999.