Top 3 causes of fires in December – and how to avoid them
December is the busiest month of the year for house fires. Find out our top recommendations to have a fire-safe Christmas.
Make Christmas fire-safe
Before we consider how to stop a fire happening in the first place, you should make sure you have a system to alert you and your household (guests included) to a fire.
- Smoke alarms - you should have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home, and test them at least once a month. Read more about smoke alarms.
- Escape planning - make sure everyone staying in your home over Christmas period knows how to escape in the event of a fire. Door keys should be easy to access by each door to make an escape easy. Read our advice on escape planning.
Here are some tips for reducing your risk of fire for the top three causes of fire around Christmas time.
1. Cooking fires
Cooking is the cause of nearly half of all domestic fires.
- Never leave your (Christmas) dinner cooking unattended.
- Make sure you switch off the oven and hob if you’re leaving the house.
- Take care around alcohol and don’t cook if you’ve had a few too many. Alcohol can cause you to take risks, be distracted, and sometimes even fall asleep. This can be a very dangerous combination with cooking.
2. Never leave your white goods on when you are not home or asleep
Dishwashers, tumble dryers and washing machines are all high powered appliances and can catch fire. Reduce the risk of this causing serious damage to your home by never leaving them on when you go out, or when you’re asleep. If the appliance starts to smoke, or a small fire breaks out, you have more chance of noticing if you are home and will be able to quickly call 999.
Christmas lights, and electrical presents such as games consoles are a fire risk.
- Check your Christmas lights are in good working order, make sure they are British Safety Standard and bought from reputable retailer.
- Extension leads generate heat so should be used carefully. Never make a chain of extension leads, and always fully extend wind-up extension leads.
- Always turn your (Christmas) lights off before bed or going out.
- Laptops, games consoles, phones and tablets can heat up when in use or being charged. Place on a hard surface and always use the official charger.
Stay safe, and enjoy the festivities.