How to prevent your house catching fire at Christmas

Fire safety is a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe home. Fires can cause devastating losses, including injury, loss of life, and destruction of property. 

Thankfully, many fires are preventable with simple precautions and regular maintenance. To help implement fire safety measures, Daniel Westhead, the Managing Director at SureSafe, is sharing the best ways to keep homes safe from fires this winter. 

How to prevent fires caused by cooking appliances

Over the last year, cooking appliances accounted for 44% of accidental dwelling fires. Grease buildup and food scraps in kitchen appliances can cause a fire hazard, especially during the holiday season when many are cooking more than normal.

Regularly check the general condition of kitchen appliances, such as ovens, toasters, and air fryers, to prevent electrical fires. Wipe off grease and clean food scraps before each use to prevent the risk of a fire. 

How to prevent fires caused by heating appliances

Using fireplaces, electric blankets, and space heaters increases the risk of a domestic fire. Makeshift heaters, such as those made of tin foil and terra cotta, can cause fires or release toxic gases, while the use of a fireplace can increase the risk of a chimney fire.

Brits can heat their homes safely by having heating appliances maintained on a yearly basis. Additionally, keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater. Flammable materials can ignite if they are too close, including Christmas decorations.

How to prevent fires caused by Christmas decorations

Decorating for Christmas means additional lights and full outlets. If lights flicker, circuits trip frequently, or a shock is felt when touching an appliance, get a professional electrician to check the wiring. If the fairy lights have any frayed cords, be sure to replace them.

Christmas lights can be risky if extension cords are used as a long-term solution for decorations or other appliances. Extension cords are a temporary fix and can become serious fire hazards if covered by rugs or if they’re overloaded.

Be proactive and prevent home fires

Many local fire departments offer free home fire safety inspections and will provide recommendations for safety improvements. Brits can take advantage of this free service, especially before starting to set up Christmas decorations in case there are any fire hazards in the home and to ensure that smoke alarms are properly working.

Brits should have a fire escape plan for the home with two exits for every room and practise it twice a year. In a fire, seconds count, and having a plan can prevent panic and save lives.

Fire safety tips are necessary for all homes, but especially for those who are elderly, as 47% of fire fatalities were people 65 and older. Implement fire safety continuously to prevent a fire in your home this Christmas season.