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Stay safe and well at Christmas


As Christmas approaches, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) and Gloucestershire County Council is reminding people to stay safe and look out for vulnerable neighbours.

From wrapping presents to preparing Christmas dinner, there is a lot to remember during the festive season. Below is some easy to follow advice to help people stay safe this festive season.

Statistics published by the government's 'Fire Kills' campaign shows that an accidental fire in the home in England is more likely to happen in December than any other month.

While fire safety is important throughout the year, the extra distractions and activity around Christmas, such as additional cooking, drinking alcohol, having the heating on for longer, are reasons to be extra vigilant during the festive period. Additionally, with Christmas decorations around the home, they can be a fire hazard if hung above a fire or if sockets are overloaded.

During the festive season, the council is also asking residents to be mindful of elderly or vulnerable neighbours.

Checking on neighbours who may need a bit of support could help change their life this Christmas. By making sure they are staying safe and warm, and that they have food in their house, local people can make a real difference. Sometimes even a quick chat on the telephone to make sure they are ok just so they know someone is thinking of them may help, and you may notice any change in their health before they do.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "Christmas is a busy time for many people, but it can be a busy time for our fire crews as well.

"As wonderful as Christmas is, we know it is also brings extra fire risk because of the use of candles, fairy lights on Christmas trees and decorations. We want to make sure that local people do everything they can to stay safe and have a very happy Christmas."

Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health, said: "Checking on your neighbour is a great way to see whether everything's ok over the Christmas period and during cold weather. The colder months can effect vulnerable people more and your support can help ensure they stay well this Christmas."

Here are some tips for enjoy Christmas safely:

  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms on all levels of your home and test them weekly, remember to check on elderly neighbours and relatives and check their smoke alarms for them
  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Ensure cigarettes are fully out before discarding
  • Don't overload sockets
  • Switch off fairy lights when you go to bed
  • Ensure everyone in your house knows what to do in the event of a fire - get out, stay out and call 999.

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