Top tips for staying safe at home in Verwood this Christmas

With just Christmas just around the corner, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has released some top tips to help keep your family safe over the festive period!

Make sure you test your smoke alarm every week – and buy sufficient batteries for those new Christmas toys so you don’t consider removing the ones from your smoke alarm to power them up.

  • Check that all Christmas lights conform to British Standards, always use a residual current device which can safely cut off power, and remember to switch them off before going to bed or leaving the property.
  • Many fires start when people fall asleep while smoking, so make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly in an ashtray – and don’t smoke in bed.
  • Make sure any guests know what to do in the event of an emergency – do they know where door/window keys are kept, and have you shown them the escape route?
  • If you have an open fire or woodburner, ensure your chimney is swept regularly.
  • Never overload electrical sockets, being especially careful with Christmas lights.
  • Place candles in an appropriate holder and away from your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings – and never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.
  • Decorations can burn easily – so move them away from sources of heat, such as lights or radiators.
  • Check on neighbours and elderly relatives this Christmas, to make sure they are fire safe and to offer a free Safe & Well visit from us.
  • If you’re planning on celebrating Christmas or New Year’s Eve with fireworks, always store them safely, follow instructions and keep a bucket of water nearby.
  • Have a bedtime routine – close all doors, and make sure you switch off electrical appliances except those designed to be left on, such as the fridge/freezer.
  • Never leave cooking unattended…let’s not burn the turkey! Remember metallic items can’t go in the microwave and keep tea towels away from the hob.

Safe & Well Manager Vikki Thomas said: “We continue to see too many fires both locally and nationally during the Christmas period, and we’ve already had incidents this month involving Christmas lights and decorations. With so many things to think about during the holidays, it’s all too easy to overlook fire safety but it should be at the top of the list.”

In the run-up to Christmas, the Service’s Education team has developed some seasonal safety advice for young people, which online at

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