Don’t let fire ruin festive cheer this Christmas

competition button.inddFire chiefs in Cleveland have issued a number of key safety messages to ensure that everyone remembers this Christmas for the right reasons.

The call, from Phil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Director of Community Protection, comes as figures show that there are more accidental house fires in the country during December than any other month.

In December 2013, there were 2,700 accidental house fires in homes across England and so far this year there have been 160 in Cleveland alone.

Phil Lancaster said: “Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends but unfortunately every year people are injured and killed and this can be avoided by following a few simple safety tips.

“There are extra potential hazards in the home such as candles and Christmas lights and it’s the time of year when people spend a lot of time cooking which poses other threats.”Cleveland Fire Brigade’s top six messages to ‘Stay Safe This Christmas’ are:

  • Keep your cooker clean – burnt food and fat can cause fires.
  • Stand by your pan – never leave cooking unattended.
  • Don’t drink and fry – if you have a festive drink don’t cook – order a takeaway or eat cold food instead.
  • Be a bright spark – turn off electrical equipment when going out or to bed, including your festive lights.
  • Maintain electrical appliances – a few simple checks could save your life.
  • Don’t hang clothes near heaters or cookers – they can easily catch fire.

Phil Lancaster added: “Over the next few weeks we will be out and about in the community providing advice such as keeping your cooker clean, never leave pans unattended and turn off all electrical equipment when not in use – including Christmas lights. We want people to remember Christmas 2014 for all the right reasons and not because they ended up in Accident & Emergency or lost a loved one through a tragic accident that could have been avoided.”

 As part of the Brigade’s campaign, they also want people to send in their videos of them singing the 12 days of Christmas but with a fire safety theme. For example, ‘On the first day of Christmas Cleveland Fire Brigade said to me… then add a fire safety tip!

 To get ideas people can visit where they can see the Brigade’s interactive house which give detailed safety tips and advice as well as safety videos to view.

 People can send in their entries by loading their videos to YouTube and pasting the link into the entry form which can be found at

 The competition is open to anyone and there are £500 worth of prizes including restaurant vouchers, cinema tickets, bowling tickets and lots, lots more. The deadline for entries is Monday 15 December 2014.