VIDEO: Northants firefighters demonstration reveals risk of Christmas tree fire

People in Northamptonshire are being warned about the dangers of potential fires involving fairy lights and candles this Christmas.

Latest figures show there were six home fires linked to electric lighting in Northamptonshire in the past year.

The chip pan blaze at today's demonstration.

The chip pan blaze at today's demonstration.

In the county between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2015, a total of 13 domestic fires were linked to the use of candles with four people injured.

Northants Fire & Rescue Service showcased the risk of a festive fire at Corby Fore Station on Wednesday by setting fire to an artificial and real Christmas tree and staging a chip pan fire.

Within minutes the test rooms were filled with a throat-clogging smoke, highlighting the dangerous speed at which a small flame can turn into a disaster.

Eddie O’Neill, station manager at Walker House in Northampton, offered his advice on how to prevent fires from starting.

He said: “In this demonstration we’ve seen the effects of fires on artificial and real Christmas trees.

“The smoke is a real concern and our message is to make sure you have a working smoke alarm and keep the door shut to contain the damage.

“We’ve seen quite a few incidents of Christmas tree fires and people must make sure they use reputable suppliers.

“Buying things off the internet provides no guarantee of safety.

“It’s vitally important to protect the escape route and make sure your key is available.”

Nationally, during 2013-2014, there were 796 candle fires in which nine people died.

Candle fires also result in about 350 casualties each year.

In the year 2014/2015 in Northamptonshire, there were 168 fires related to cooking with 24 linked to the use of chip pans and deep fat fryers.

Mr O’Neill recommends people not to use chip pans at all.

He said: “Deep fat fryers are preferable and we recommend people not to use chip pans, but there are still some who do.

“The problem is that people will go out for the night, come back late and feel hungry and put the chip pan on but then fall asleep.

“We’ve seen it time and time again.

“If you can contain the fire do not tackle it, we will deal with it - we need to get the message out.”