A safety tip a day – keeps the fire and rescue service away

a snowy background with snowman, RBFRS logo, and text saying have a safe and merry Christmas from everyone at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

With Christmas just around the corner, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is issuing a safety tip every day on social media to help residents enjoy a safe and merry Christmas. 

As trees and other decorations go up across the county, RBFRS is reminding residents to ensure that all lights conform to British Standard (BS EN 60598) and are switched off and unplugged before you leave the house or go to bed. When putting up your decorations, please ensure that any lights or candles are kept away from any potential fire hazards and never overload electrical sockets.

Paul Jacques, Area Manager said: “If you’re putting up a real tree this Christmas, make sure to keep it watered. You might think this is an unusual piece of advice from your fire and rescue service, but this is because a dry tree can catch fire very easily if exposed to a heat source.”

RBFRS has also highlighted the issue of counterfeit products, which may not be compliant with British safety standards.

Paul said: “If you’re buying electrical gadgets for a loved one, because they tend to be high on people’s wish lists, please be mindful that counterfeiters may try to profit by selling fake copies of them.

“Counterfeit electrical items are unlikely to meet UK safety regulations or be compatible with an official electrical item, e.g replacement phone chargers and may contain faulty parts that can overheat and catch fire, or deliver a fatal electric shock.”

As people prepare to make various journeys across the country and with the possibility of colder weather approaching, RBFRS is also urging caution on the roads to help ensure that everyone can have a safe journey. Before setting off on a long trip, please check the tread and pressure of your tyres, that all your lights work, and the condition of your windscreen and wipers.

More fires start in the kitchen than any other room and with this in mind RBFRS is once again highlighting the importance of avoiding distractions when cooking.

Paul continued: “Christmas brings various pressures around the home, especially when you’re trying to cook for your family and friends.”

“That’s why it’s incredibly important that when cooking you try and avoid unnecessary distractions. Don’t leave your cooking unattended. We also advise you not to cook after drinking to keep a clear head and avoid any mistakes.”

“We hope Berkshire residents will follow our safety advice and enjoy a safe and merry Christmas, however they choose to spend it.”