Chiefs’ festive fire hazards warning

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FIRE chiefs are urging families to take steps to stay safe this Christmas.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has issued a number of key safety messages to ensure that everyone remembers this Christmas for the right reasons.

The call, from Phil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Director of Community Protection, comes as figures show that there are more accidental house fires in the country during December than any other month.

In December 2013, there were 2,700 accidental house fires in homes across England and so far this year there have been 160 in Cleveland alone.

Phil Lancaster said: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends but unfortunately every year people are injured and killed and this can be avoided by following a few simple safety tips.

“There are extra potential hazards in the home such as candles and Christmas lights and it’s the time of year when people spend a lot of time cooking which poses other threats.”

Cleveland Fire Brigade’s top six messages to ‘Stay Safe This Christmas’ are:

l Keep your cooker clean – burnt food and fat can cause fires.

l Stand by your pan – never leave cooking unattended.

l Don’t drink and fry – if you have a festive drink don’t cook – order a takeaway or eat cold food instead.

l Be a bright spark – turn off electrical equipment when going out or to bed, including your festive lights.

l Maintain electrical appliances – a few simple checks could save your life.

l Don’t hang clothes near heaters or cookers – they can easily catch fire.