Fire risk is real for us all

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are reminding people to make sure they celebrate safely and reduce the risk of fire. please make sure fire safety at the top of their ‘to do’ list.

A short film showing just how quickly a fire involving fairy lights can take hold is featured on the AF&RS website. In less than a minute the room is filled with thick black smoke. To view the film visit

AF&RS Group Manager for Community Safety, Matt Peskett, said: “Fire safety is important for us all. We would like to remind people to make sure they have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of their home and to check the batteries are working regularly. With many people having guests to stay we would also like people to make sure they have an escape route and that everyone in the house knows how to get out if there is a fire.”

“We know people are busy with lots of things to do but some simple fire safety measures could be the difference between life and death. A smoke alarm will activate at the first sign of fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape the house, but only if it is working. “

Fire safety advice for the festive season

Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and that you check the batteries are working regularly. Only remove the batteries if you are changing them.

  • Plan and practice your escape route, making sure everyone staying in the house knows how to get out if there is a fire.
  • Visit the home of an elderly relative or neighbour and check they have a working smoke alarm.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. More than half of fires attended by AF&RS start in the kitchen, so avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol and always switch of kitchen appliances when not in use.
  • Never leave candles burning unattended. Keep them away from curtains and furnishings and ensure tealights are placed in the correct holders.
  • Take care when smoking and ensure all smoking materials are fully extinguished after use.
  • Always ensure all electrical items which don’t need to be left on are switched off after use, including fairy lights, mobile phones and laptop chargers. These can get very hot and start a fire.
  • If there is a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.

The AF&RS website has safety advice specifically for this. It also features a socket overload calculator which highlights how many appliances you can have plugged in together. To find out more visit

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