Christmas is almost here! The turkey needs cooking, the mulled wine needs warming. There is a lot to think about and it's easy to get distracted, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service want you to celebrate Christmas safely this year. Although it's important all year round, the extra distractions at Christmas make it vital to be vigilant during the festive season. More than half of accidental fires during the Christmas period are started in the kitchen making this a high risk area. Think before you cook after a night out! With the Christmas celebrations well under way it's tempting after an evening of festive drinking to get the munchies. We would encourage you to choose takeaway rather than cooking when you get home as after a night out the cause of a kitchen fire is often falling asleep after putting the food on. Have a good night out, choose take away and be drink aware. Top Tips There are several things you can do to prevent fires in the kitchen: Never leave cooking unattended - a moment's distraction can lead to damage in your home to the value of thousands of pounds or in the worst case a tragedy Take pans off the heat or turn the heat down if you're called away from the cooker, e.g. by a phone call With all the Christmas celebrations avoid cooking after drinking alcohol or taken prescription drugs - you may get drowsy or lose concentration Take care if you're wearing loose clothing as it can catch fire easily Turn saucepans so the handles don't stick out over the edge of the hob or over another ring Plan your escape route Make sure your family and visitors staying for the festive period know what to do in an emergency. Make a fire escape plan and check everyone knows it. Toxic smoke Should a fire break out your family and friends need to be aware of the danger of toxic smoke, most people vastly underestimate it's deadly strength. They overestimate how long they have to escape should a fire break out. The reality is that just two to three breaths of smoke in a fire can render a person unconscious. Smoke Alarms Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. Test your smoke alarms on a regular basis and never remove batteries to power presents! This Christmas clean your smoke alarms so all your family and friends are safe.
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