DORSET and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has released some top tips to help residents keep safe over the festive period. 

Safe and Well manager Vikki Thomas said: “We continue to see too many fires both locally and nationally during the Christmas period.

"With so many things to think about during the holidays, it’s all too easy to overlook fire safety but it should be at the top of the list.”

  • Check Christmas lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard
  • Never overload electrical sockets, and make sure outdoor lights are fitted with a residual current device
  • Always switch off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving home
  • Never place candles near a Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings – and never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Decorations can burn easily – avoid hanging them near lights or heaters
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children
  • Never leave Christmas cooking unattended and make sure the oven and hob is switched off when the meal is done
  • Many fires start when people fall asleep while smoking, so make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly – and never smoke in bed
  • Never remove the batteries from a smoke alarm to power a new Christmas toy
  • Make sure smoke alarms are tested every week 

For more information go to or to see if you are eligible for a free Safe and Well visit call 0800 038 2323.