Top three causes of Christmas fires in Northamptonshire revealed as part of safety campaign

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue are warning what causes the most household fire across the festive season as part of a safety campaign.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 4:16 pm
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service say 30 household fires broke out last year over December.

In total, firefighters attended 30 fires at people's homes last December and they are being used as cautionary tales for the fire services' "Crackers, Not Calamities" campaign.

The most common cause of domestic fires last December were cooker and over fires, which alone started 11 blazes.

They are followed by five fires that were caused by matches and three blazes that were caused by smoking materials.

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Now, the fire service is sharing simple fire safety tips to prevent common accidents at home.

When cooking, keep cooking hobs and pans clean, to avoid build-up of grease.

Keep tea towels away from hobs, and save any alcoholic drinks until after the cooking is done. And always keep an eye on the cooking - don’t leave it unattended.

Broader advice for candles, matches and smoking starts with never leaving children unattended when there are matches, lighters or naked flames in the room.

Always ensure that cigarettes and matches are fully extinguished. Never smoke in bed, and when smoking, use a proper ashtray – never a wastepaper basket.

Make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn. Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around - they can easily fall over and start a fire.

Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.

Lastly, keep candles, lighters and matches out of children’s reach

Tina Collett, district liaison officer for NFRS, said: “We’ve been running our Christmas fire safety campaign, ‘Crackers, not calamities,’ since the beginning of December as it is so important to us people know what to do to cut the risk of fires in their homes.

“Christmas can be a high risk time for fires because there are simply so many distractions and also all of those seasonal risk elements such as candles, increased levels of cooking and also the consumption of alcohol which can impact on concentration and coordination.

“The top three causes of fires for last December can typically be risky areas throughout the year, but there are steps people can take to prevent these from happening. I hope people will take note of our safety tips and keep as safe as possible while enjoying a peaceful and safe Christmas.”