Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Fire crews are prepared, but stay safe at Christmas!

With festive decorations, present wrapping and Christmas dinner to contend with, it's easy to lose sight of safety. But national statistics show that December is the worst month of the year for accidental fires in the home, with 20 people a day either killed or injured across the country.

Many people are unaware of the potential fire hazards and toxic threats that can lurk in fairy lights, candles and flammable Christmas decorations. With many people enjoying a Christmas drink and relaxing with family, it's easy to get distracted, just when you need to be at your most vigilant.

Geoff Sallis, deputy chief fire officer, said: "Fire safety is important all year round, but in December there are added risks whether from unsafe decorations or simply being distracted when the celebrations begin."

"By following very simple advice, everyone can be assured of a peaceful and safe Christmas."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "Christmas can be a busy time for many people, but it can be a busy time for fire crews as well. We want to make sure that local people do everything they can to stay safe and have a very happy Christmas."

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service offers the following advice:

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue is once again reassuring communities that a professional service will be maintained in the county during three national strikes over the next few days.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for its member to engage in industrial action on Christmas Eve (Tuesday) from 7pm-midnight, New Years Eve (Tuesday 31st) 6.30pm-12.30am and Friday 3rd January 6.30-8.30pm.

GFRS has contingency plans in place which mean that it will largely be business as usual, despite the strikes. However, local people and businesses should make sure they do everything they can to stay safe in their homes or workplace.

ENDS

Issued by: Sarah Wood, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425093

Notes to Editors:

For more information on fire safety in the home, go to www.glosfire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills or call 0800 180 41 40 to arrange a visit.

If you know an older or vulnerable person who hasn't got a smoke alarm and may be at risk from fire, call 0800 180 41 40 to book a visit from a community safety adviser.

24th December 2013