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Safety 'must be paramount this Christmas'
23rd December 2011
As the Christmas season begins to get into full swing, landlords need to make sure they protect their properties from fires to avoid having to make a claim on their property owners insurance.
Festivities, high jinks and alcohol-fuelled gatherings can easily turn into disaster during the Christmas period, as kitchen appliances are left unattended.
The use of candles, fairy lights and other highly flammable decorations can also result in fires if the appropriate level of care is not taken.
The Fire Kills campaign is urging people to prioritise safety and ensure they maintain vigilant at all times during their Christmas celebrations.
According to statistics cited by the Department for Communities and Local Government, one in six deaths caused by fires occurred in December. Moreover, almost 1,400 house fires were started by cooking appliances last December, resulting in more than 300 injuries.
Ken Knight, chief fire and rescue adviser to the government, said that people tend to forget about the importance of fire safety during the Christmas period because they are more preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of Yuletide celebrations.
"But in reality, the start of festive celebrations bring a whole cocktail of fire risks into the home," he warned.
"From the distractions of a crowded house while cooking and the slower reaction times that result from alcohol consumption, to the potential dangers of overloaded plug sockets, flammable decorations and unattended candles."
Landlords should ensure they have a working smoke alarm installed in all levels of their property and test them regularly to ensure they work smoothly.
A functional smoke alarm provides crucial time needed to escape in the event of the fire.
Property owners were also advised not to overload sockets and to always turn off plugs when they are not being used - advice that could be passed on to tenants.