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Being fire-conscious this Christmas

Being fire-conscious this Christmas

Monday 21 December 2020

Being fire-conscious this Christmas

Monday 21 December 2020

Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards are asking islanders to take extra this Christmas, and ensure they are conscious of fire hazards.

Both teams are reminding the public of general fire and safety advice, and drawing attention to potentially hazardous Christmas decorations.

Their most important message is simply, "don't leave burning candles unattended".

"In recent years there has been a growing trend to have candles in amongst foliage as decorations," said David Mullins, Head of Trading Standards.

"Remember, fire and dry plants don't mix. Even if you intend to keep an eye on it, it isn't hard to fall asleep after a Christmas lunch. You also can't assume the arrangement is fire safe just because it has been purchased, so make sure you ask your retailers if anything has been done to make them safe."

It is recommended to keep candles in jars or glass vases to keep them away from plants in such decorations, but the best thing would be to remove the open flame from the decoration altogether, as Fire Safety Manager for the GFRS, Gary Van Derlinden explains.

"Our general advice would be to follow Trading Standards advice when you are selecting your Christmas decorations. There are now some good alternatives to naked flames, but even these should be checked for safety markers like the British Standard Safety sign," he said.

"The most important thing to avoid doing is leaving lit candles unattended. If you are leaving the room, put it out first."

Specific advice has also been issued on decorations; islanders are reminded not to attach them to lights, heaters, or immediately above a fireplace. For fairy lights, users should replace bulbs that blow, and keep them away from anything that burns easily such as tissue paper or cardboard.

A leaflet has also been issued with general fire safety advice which can be downloaded below:


Pictured top: Islanders are being urged to be mindful of their open candle flames this Christmas period

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