Clare County Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to put fire safety at the top of their Christmas lists this year.
The annual campaign comes as the Fire Service confirmed that Brigades throughout Clare were mobilised to 48 incidents during the 2011 Christmas period, representing a second successive drop in festive fire callouts since 2009.
24 of the call-outs related to chimney fires while firefighters also attended 4 house fires. The majority of emergency call-outs were attended by Ennis Fire Brigade (26), followed by Shannon (8), Scarriff (5), Killaloe / Kilrush (3), Ennistymon (2) and Kilkee (1).
The call-out figures for the period December 20th to January 3rd were less than those recorded during the corresponding periods in 2009 and 2010, when the Fire Service was mobilised to 81 and 64 incidents respectively.
Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly urged members of the public to familiarise themselves with the fire safety advice, which may be viewed on the Clare County Council website at www.clarecoco.ie.
The Mayor continued: “Christmas is a time for celebrating with families but it also is a time when extra fire hazards appear such as fairy lights, candles, open fires and decorations. I encourage householders across County Clare to think about fire safety ahead of and during the Christmas period to avoid the risk of their Christmas being ruined.”
The main causes of fire during the festive season are candles left unprotected, fairylights left on all night or improperly wired, Christmas trees falling over, open fires without fireguards, and decorations catching fire.
According to Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer: “Open fires are used for longer periods during the Christmas period as people spend a lot more time at home. Electrical items and extension leads are used more. Add in flammable decorations, candles and alcohol and it becomes apparent that the risks increase during the festive season.”
“Clare County Fire and Rescue Service wishes everyone a safe Christmas and a happy New Year. We wish to remind members of the public to brief themselves with our safety tips to ensure that their holidays are not ruined by fire incidents,” he added.
FIRE SAFETY TIPS:
- Install a smoke alarm and check it weekly.
- Always use a proper candleholder and make sure the candle fits firmly inside it. Leave plenty of space above and around the candle and candleholder
- Keep candles away from curtains, Christmas cards and anything that can catch fire
- Never leave candles unattended or go to sleep when they are alight
- Make sure your Christmas tree has a good base or is attached to the wall. Remember that trees dry out and make very good fuel to start a fire.
- Be careful with any decorations placed near the fireplace
- Visit any elderly neighbours. Smoke alarms make good presents as they are for life…saving life.
In the event of a fire in your home “Get Out, Stay Out And Call the Fire Brigade Out”. The Fire Service can be contacted by dialling 999/112.