Cambs Fire Service warns residents to stop festive cheer going up in smoke

FIREFIGHTERS are warning Cambridgeshire residents to think about fire safety this Christmas.

Last December there were 31 accidental house fires, including a fire at a home caused by Christmas decorations, and an elderly man who died in a kitchen fire in Boxworth.

Many people are unaware of the fire hazards and toxic threats that can lurk in fairy lights, candles and flammable Christmas decorations.

Kitchens are also a fire hotspot as potential distraction while cooking is high, but particularly at Christmas when more people are likely to be in the home and those cooking might be tempted to have a festive tipple.

As a result, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take care as they get into the festive spirit; dry Christmas trees, decorations and wrapped presents are all fuel for a fire in the home.

Andy Tucker, Risk Manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The risk of fire in the home is an all year round issue, however people are particularly vulnerable at Christmas for many reasons ranging from unsafe electrical decorations and unattended candles to cooking while under the influence of alcohol.

“People vastly underestimate the deadly strength of toxic smoke and overestimate how long they have to escape should a fire break out. The reality is that just two to three breaths of smoke in a fire can render a person unconscious.

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“Christmas should be a time for celebration rather than tragedy and for this reason I’m urging people to be fire aware and stay fire safe.”

For more information on fire safety in the home visit www.cambsfire.gov.uk

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