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Christmas Fire Safety: Tips & Advice



‘Tis the season to ensure festive fire safety. Many of the things we enjoy over the Christmas period, such as fairy lights, candles, trees, and decorations, can all be fire hazards when proper care is not taken.

To make sure you and your families are as safe as possible it’s best to be aware that there are often extra fire hazards in the home. Things like candles, portable heaters, open fires, Christmas tree lights, and overloaded sockets can create extra risks.

Keep your holidays festive and your loved ones safe with these fire safety tips.

Christmas Tree

If you are using a real tree, ensure you pick a fresh one as aged tree tend to be drier and more flammable. Make sure to keep it watered and keep heat sources at least three feet away.

If you chose an artificial tree, make sure to purchase one that is fire-retardant. It won’t prevent a fire completely, but it takes longer for the flames to catch and spread.

No matter what tree you choose, you must make sure that it does not compromise any escape routes from the building.

Christmas lights

With Christmas lights being sold in virtually most supermarkets, discount shops or even online, it’s vital to ensure that your Christmas lights are safe to use. Make sure to:

  • Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Safety Standard, which means that they are compatible with the Health and Safety standards within the UK
  • never use lights with worn or frayed cables  
  • turn off lights at night or when you are leaving the house

If you’re the forgetful type, consider investing in a Christmas light timer to make sure your lights get turned off every night. This can also help your electric bill be more of a nice list and help it not feel like coal in your stocking.


There’s a surprising number of decorations that are made from flammable substances. Tissue paper, cardboard, card, and wood are just some of them.

Make sure to keep decorations and cards away from candles and never attach them to lights or heaters.


Take care when using candles - the incidence of candle fires is highest in December. Always use candle holders and never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations, wrapping paper, or furnishings or leave them unattended.

Plug sockets

Overloading sockets is dangerous at any time of year but at Christmas, there’s usually a lot more than needs to be plugged in. Make sure not to overload sockets or extension cables but also check the wattage of each individual appliance, as you should only have one plug per socket.

Smoke/fire alarms

Make sure to test your fire alarms monthly, and use Christmas as a reminder to clean your smoke alarm to remove dust.


Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to help prevent any accidents in the kitchen never leave a cooker unattended and switch off cooking appliances after use. Also, make sure to keep alcohol away from cooker hobs and heaters.

Children and pets

Always supervise children and pets. Keep them away from candles, matches and lighters, and watch them around other decorations.

Fire escape plan

Make sure you know where your fire exits are – just in case you have an emergency during the festive period.