The most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries is to reduce the number of incidents that happen in the first place.
The Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Prevention Team sets out to achieve these goals through a system of proactive education, involving a wide range of initiatives aimed at promoting an environment safe from fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies.
This proactive education is delivered by operational personnel and a dedicated team of Prevention Practitioners, either in people's homes whilst carrying out safer home visits and by talking to members of the public through our attendance at public events or through our work with partnership organisations.
At home or outdoors, your family is potentially at risk, not just from fire, but other hazards too. The safety of your family should always come first and by following some simple advice, you can protect them.
Don't Let Fire Ruin Festive Cheer this Christmas
Christmas dinner, wrapping presents and decorating your home - there's lots to think about this Christmas, but one thing Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and the Fire Kills campaign are urging Suffolk residents to put at the top of their Christmas lists this year is fire safety.
Fire statistics show that in December, 20 people a day are either killed or injured in accidental fires in the home in England. Although fire safety is important at every time of year, the extra distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season.
In December 2011, there were 2,834 accidental fires in the home in England - more than any other month of the year. This is why Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from fire.
Station Commander Jon Southgate says: "Christmas is a time for festive cheer with family and friends, but fairy lights, candles and decorations mean it is also a time to take extra care to keep our family and loved ones safe from fire".
To ensure you have the merriest of Christmases, keep fire safety at the top of your list. Ensure you place candles in suitable holders, away from curtains, never leave cooking unattended and, of course, test your smoke alarms.
From everyone at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, we wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas.
The Fire Kills campaign has provided some top tips to help you celebrate safely this festive season:
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. A working alarm can give you the vital time needed to escape in the event of fire. Test your smoke alarms regularly and never remove batteries to power presents!
- Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire.
- Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol and always turn off kitchen apppliances when you have finished cooking.
- Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
- Put your cigarette out, right out. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when you are drinking or tired. It is very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
- Don't overload sockets - ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers.
- Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).
- Always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store.
- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire - in the event of fire: get out, stay out and call 999.
For more information, visit the Fire Kills campaign's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/firekills
View the Fire Kills video: Christmas tree fire destroys a living room in under one minute
Download a fire safety leaflet
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What is in the section
Become a Community Fire Volunteer in Suffolk
This section provides information on our work with young people; advice on keeping you safe when you are at home, on the road and out and about
Is your home safe from fire?