Fire safety at Xmas

A Christmas tree burns very quickly and can devastate your home in minutes
5th December, 2007

A Christmas tree burns very quickly and can devastate your home in minutes – that is the theme of a fire safety campaign launched by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A billboard showing a burning tree – which engulfed sitting room furniture in just 20 seconds – will be unveiled at the Wellington Retail Park this week urging householders to ensure they have a smoke alarm.

Advice on how to keep your family safe will be available from firefighters at shopping centres in both Telford and Shrewsbury.

From Thursday 6th December until Sunday, firefighters from Telford Central Fire Station have a safety stand in Telford Shopping Centre and from December 13th to 16th Shrewsbury firefighters will be at the Darwin Shopping Centre.

"Most fires in the home are preventable and with a few simple precautions you can protect your family and have a safe and happy Christmas," said Tamara Hackett, of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service's Community Fire Safety team.

Firefighters recently carried out a Christmas tree fire to show the intensity of the blaze.

"The speed the fire took hold of the Christmas tree and furniture was quite shocking. A cut Christmas tree burns very quickly and generates a significant amount of heat," said Tamara.

Fires started by cooking left unattended are still the number one cause of fires in the home followed closely by faulty or overloaded electrical equipment. It is also very important to ensure cigarettes and candles are kept away from other combustible items and are fully extinguished before leaving the house or going to bed.

"We cannot stress enough the importance of having working smoke alarms - at least one on each floor of your house, in the hall and landing. It is also essential that everyone knows what to do in case of fire and how to escape from the house quickly."

Competitions are being held in Telford Town Centre in which entrants can win a Playstation plus games, shopping vouchers and a luxury "experience day".