Have a happy and safe Christmas - we're here if you need us

Wed 24 Dec, 2014

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 our emergency control room will be available to deal with your 999 call, and that our 20 fire stations will be functioning as normal.

On Christmas Day last year, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was called out to 17 incidents, including three collisions and two pub chimney fires, and on Christmas Day 2012 there were 17 incidents, including a collision and a car fire.

On Christmas Day 2011 there were 20 incidents, including two kitchen fires, and on Christmas Day 2010 there were 30 incidents, including a turkey on fire in an oven and a Christmas pudding that had been microwaved for too long.

Jason Thelwell, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “Although we are always there when you need us in an emergency, we hope your celebrations will go without a hitch.

“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.”

If you don’t have smoke alarms, and you are looking for a New Year resolution, make 2015 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

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.
  • Finally, take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours – make sure they are safe from the risk of a fire.