The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have released some fire safety advice to make sure you stay safe this Christmas.
- Unplug fairy lights or other electrical Christmas decorations when you leave the house or go to bed.
- Check fairy lights are in good working order and replace any bulbs that have blown.
- Bulbs can get very hot, don’t let them touch materials that can scorch or burn easily, such as paper or fabrics.
- Make sure the fuse in the plug is the correct rating.
- If you need to plug more than one appliance into an electrical socket use a multi-socket adaptor which is fitted with a fuse and has surge protection.
- Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily.
- Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
- Don’t put them immediately above or around the fireplace.
- Keep them away from candles.
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
Selecting a Tree for Christmas
Always buy your tree from a reputable retailer to ensure freshness and quality. Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a potential fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Don’t place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace, heat vent or candles. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling centre or having it taken away by a community pickup service.
You can get more fire safety information on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website.