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Christmas tree fire

On the first of every month, test your smoke alarms

Last year over 200 people died in fires in the home. You are more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm.  So on the 1st of every month, test your smoke alarms and tick it off your 'to do' list.  It takes no time at all and gives you and your family a better chance of surviving a fire.

First of the month - Time to Test.

Candle Safety

A few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations such as Guy Fawkes’ night, Diwali and Christmas.  

But with candle fires resulting in around 350 casualties each year, the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service are asking people to take extra care with candles this winter - nearly 40% of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury.   

The most important step you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to ensure your home has a working smoke alarm.  To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, you should make sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and ensure candles are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.    

Trevor Moyce, Prevention and Protection Manager said:  

“Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.  

“Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”  

“Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by practising your escape routes.”   

To help you enjoy your candles safely:  

  • Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
  • Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit.         
  • Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.          
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.          
  • Put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon - sparks can fly if you blow them out.
  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur– practise your escape route.  

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