Have a safe and happy Christmas, firefighters urge public

Date published: 21 December 2019

As Christmas fast approaches, firefighters are urging people to make sure they are keeping themselves, as well as friends, family and guests safe.

The festive season is now in full swing and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is asking residents to take extra care during the festive period.

The service is urging people to think about their safety in the kitchen, with electrical appliances and also to make sure they take care around water, especially when on a night out or drinking alcohol.

Crews regularly attend incidents in people’s homes during the festive period, including ones involving food which has been left unattended. Incidents such as these can be devastating and can result in injury or death.

Key safety advice for at home over the festive period includes:

  • Test your smoke alarms
  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Turn off electrical appliances, including Christmas and decorative lights, when they are not being used
  • Don’t overload sockets – only use one plug in each socket
  • Extinguish candles before you go to sleep
  • If you live in a flat, know the evacuation plan for your building and never block emergency access
  • Keep all landings, corridors and doorways clear of obstructions, including rubbish
  • Never set fireworks off from a balcony

GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Leon Parkes, said: “This is one of the busiest times of the year for our firefighters and while we want everyone to have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year, we need our residents to do their bit by keeping themselves safe.

“If you are in charge in the kitchen, please never leave cooking unattended and take extra care, ensuring electrical leads, tea towels and cloths are kept away from your cooker. We all know alcohol and cooking don’t mix, so please, if you are enjoying a drink as part of your celebrations, take extra care.

“When it comes to new electronic gifts and Christmas lights please be careful not to overload plug sockets and always turn electrical appliances off when they are not being used.” 

Ahead of Christmas nights out and New Year’s Eve celebrations, the fire service is also urging people to take care near water. If you are heading out to enjoy a drink, avoid walking home near open water such as canals and stay with friends when they have been drinking.

ACFO Parkes added: “We all deserve the chance to blow off some steam over the next few weeks but by taking a few simple steps you can ensure everyone is safe. Plan your journey home at the start of your night out, stay together and if a friend has had one too many, do the right thing and help them to get home safe.

“Finally, from everyone at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, I would like to wish all of our residents a happy Christmas and New Year.”

People are also being reminded that certain Whirlpool washing machines manufactured under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands between 2014 and 2018 are being recalled due to a potential fire safety concern.

You can find out more and check if your washing machine is affected:

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