Happy and safe Christmas - we're here if you need us

Fri 23 Dec, 2016

We're here if you need us over the festive period – but we hope everything goes so well that you won’t have to invite firefighters to your Christmas celebrations! If you do, you can rest assured that we will respond to your emergency.

On Christmas Day last year, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was called out to 33 incidents, including a car crash and a chimney fire. A few years ago, firefighters were even called out to a turkey on fire in an oven, and a Christmas pudding that had been microwaved for too long.

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell said: "Christmas is a time for family and loved ones, and I hope you will all have the opportunity to spend some time with them over the holiday period.

"As you do, please spare a thought for the firefighters, police officers, paramedics, armed forces personnel and the staff in the health service who will be working around the clock to keep you safe throughout the holiday period."

He added: “It can be so chaotic in some homes on the big day that it is easy for your concentration to slip and for something untoward to happen.

“By following a few simple pieces of advice, you can give yourself the best possible chance of making sure that it’s a safe holiday as well as a happy one.”

Jason’s top tips for a trouble-free festive period are:

  • Don’t overdo it with your favourite tipple while you are cooking! The risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed.
  • If there are any smokers in your house, make sure they put out their cigarettes properly and are careful with matches and lighters.
  • Make sure your family and any visitors staying for the holidays know what to do in an emergency. Practise a fire escape plan.
  • Switch off electrical appliances when not in use, unless they're designed to stay on. Always switch off and unplug Christmas lights before you go to bed.
  • Never place candles near your Christmas tree, furnishings or decorations. Don't leave them burning unattended. Take care with napkins, crackers and party poppers if you have candles on your dining table.
  • During the festive period, carry out a check on your smoke alarm. Test the battery and remove any dust from the alarm.
  • Celebrating with fireworks? Then store them in a metal box, read the instructions, never go back to a lit firework and keep a bucket of water nearby.
  • Drive carefully if you are visiting friends or relatives - allow plenty of time for the journey, and check on the latest traffic and weather information.
  • Take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours – make sure they are safe from the risk of a fire.
  • Finally, if you don’t have smoke alarms, and you are looking for a New Year resolution, make 2017 the year you contact Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service for a free safety check. Just ring 01296 744477 or send an email to cs@bucksfire.gov.uk