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Service Launches Festive Season Safety Campaign #RBFRSAdvent

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is today launching its ‘#RBFRSAdvent’ safety campaign, sharing 24 days’ worth of advice to help residents stay safe during the festive period. The campaign will see a new safety message shared on RBFRS’ social media channels every day until Sunday, 24 December.

Whilst fire safety should always be a consideration, the festive season brings extra fire hazards wrought by Christmas trees, electronics, decorations, and even presents. By following the advice covered in this campaign, residents can enjoy the festive season safely.

Tim Readings, Group Manager, said, “In preparing for the festive season, unfortunately we know that some people will need our help in the coming weeks. However, there are steps you can take that will reduce the likelihood of you being one of them.

“Simple steps, such as watering Christmas trees, using electric candles and keeping flammable items away from electric heaters, will significantly lower the risk of a fire breaking out in your home.

“Don’t use disposable barbecues to heat your homes and keep fuel, such as logs and coal, away from fireplaces. A fireguard is a good investment that’ll make your fireplace safer.

“Finally, we know that people will be getting merry at this time of year. However, if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not even consider driving. Use common sense and arrange a lift, book a taxi or use public transport. It’s not worth the risk.”

Emergency service staff support Operation Holly outside Wokingham Road Fire Station
Emergency service staff support Operation Holly outside Wokingham Road Fire Station last year. Don’t drink and drive, it’s not worth the risk.

We hope you enjoy celebrating over the festive period, but don’t be complacent. Follow the advice the #RBFRSAdvent to keep yourself safe:

  • Turn the fairy lights on your Christmas tree off before bed and, if it’s a real tree, water it regularly to help avoid a fire starting.
  • Keep heaters away from flammable items, such as curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Watch out for icy paths during the cold weather. If you are out and about near open water, take care of your footing and look out for trip hazards
  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained. This should be done by a registered and competent person.
  • Be careful when using open fires to keep warm – make sure you always use a fireguard to protect against flying sparks.
  • Do not sit too close to any open fires, gas fires or halogen heaters if using emollient products as both paraffin and non-paraffin products can act as an accelerant when absorbed into clothing and exposed to naked flames or other heat sources.
  • Keep candles on a hard, flat surface away from flammable materials, and ensure they are fully out before bed.
  • Keep your eye on the hob and do not leave cooking unattended.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of your home. Test them weekly to make sure they work.
  • If a lot of clutter builds up in your home during Christmas, please do not leave it blocking your escape route.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Book a taxi, arrange a lift or take public transport.

If a fire breaks out in your home, get out, stay out and call 999.

To keep up with the campaign, follow RBFRS on X, Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #RBFRSAdvent.