PEOPLE in Wiltshire are being urged to put fire safety at the top of their Christmas lists over the festive period.

Watch manager Neil Chamberlain, from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety department, said: “Christmas is a time for having fun with family and friends, but it is also a time when extra fire hazards are introduced to the home, such as fairy lights, candles and decorations.

"We want people to be safe and enjoy the holidays, which is why we are providing safety advice wherever we can.”

The service has released the following tips:

• Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home, test your smoke alarms weekly and never remove batteries

• Check on older relatives and neighbours to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire

• Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol

• Switch off all kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking

• Never leave burning candles unattended and keep candles out of reach of children, and away from decorations, candles, cards and wrapping paper

• Don’t overload sockets – ensure only one plug per socket

• Always turn off plugs when not in use

• Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house. Check they conform to British Standard BS EN 60598

• Always use a residual current device on outdoor electrical equipment which can be purchased in any DIY store

• Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call 999.

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