December 23, 2010 12.00 pm This story is over 155 months old

House fire warning over festive period

Fire warning: Authorities in Lincolnshire are warning residents to be aware of fire risks this Christmas.

Fire and Rescue services and Lincolnshire County Council are warning people to be aware of fire hazards over the festive period.

In 2009, statistics show that out of 378 domestic fires in Lincolnshire, 53 took place in December alone.

The County Council have also discovered that 90% of over 65s overestimate their ability to escape from their home.

80% underestimated the chances of a fire starting in their own home too.

Community Fire Safety Manager Keiron Davey said: “It’s vital you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your house.

“You also need to test them weekly and plan and practise your escape route. As you get older, it will take longer to get out of your home safely.

“Many people over the age of 65 don’t seem to realise that just two to three breaths of toxic smoke could leave you unconscious.

“You have less than two minutes to escape in a fire before your lungs fill up with smoke and you can’t breathe.”

A campaign called Fire Kills has released a video on how quickly a festive home can catch alight, using the example of faulty fairy lights on a tree.

The video below from Fire Kills shows just how quickly it takes for a house to be engulfed in flames and smoke at Christmas.

The campaign has also released tips on how fatalities and fires can be avoided.

People should make sure they have a smoke alarm fitted and running properly; ideally it should be tested once a week.

Cooking should never be left unattended and you should never cook while drunk. Turn off appliances after cooking.

Candles should never be left unattended or left near cards, wrapping paper, heaters or lights.

Fairy lights should be switched off when not being admired and have to conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).

In the event of a fire, once you leave the house, do not try to re-enter.

Photo: Quitor