Stay warm and safe

With the colder weather setting in, many people across the country will be thinking about what they can do to keep warm. As the temperature drops, you may start using additional or alternative heating or decorate your home with the warm, ambient glow of burning candles.

The Government's Fire Kills campaign is therefore reminding people or the need to stay warm safely this winter. The most important thing you can do in your home to stay safe is to ensure that you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home and that you test it regularly. But in the winter period it is vital to take some further precautions. The Fire Kills campaign is offering the following top tips to help keep you and your family safe and warm this winter:

Sweep your chimney

Chimneys SweepWhen using an open fire, make sure you use a fireguard and that it is put out properly when you leave or go to bed. Make sure your chimneys are clean and well maintained.

Unplug heaters

Unplug HeatersPortable heaters must be kept away from curtains and furniture and shouldn't be used for drying clothes. Always unplug electric heaters when you go out or go to bed.

If you have an electric blanket, do not use a hot water bottle, even if the blanket's switched off. Unplug blankets before you go to bed, unless they have thermostat control for safe all-night use.

Don't leave candles unattended

Candle unattendedLit candles must never be left unattended and should be secured in a proper holder away from materials that may catch fire - like curtains.

Check on relatives

Xmas check on relativesAt this time of year, take time to check on older relatives and neighbours. Make sure that they are both warm and safe this winter and have working smoke alarms installed.

For more information, you may wish to contact your local fire and rescue service (not 999). They may be able to provide you with winter fire safety advice tailored to your home. Alternatively, visit www.facebook.com/firekills.

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