Kent Fire & Rescue Service
Home > News > Campaigns > Christmas safety
Christmas safety

Christmas safety

Protect your loved ones from fire over the festive season

The Byrnes Family.jpg
Learn with the Byrnes family to keep your family safe
Thanks to the pupils and staff at Loose Primary School for helping KFRS to make a video to help families understand the increased fire risk in the home over Christmas.

This festive season, Kent Fire and Rescue Service would like people across Kent and Medway to have fun, but to make ‘family fire safety’ top of their Christmas lists.

For many people, like our very own Byrnes family, the festive period is an opportunity to spend more time at home, use candles and fairy lights and have a few drinks, but all of these activities can increase the risk of fire.

And while fire safety is important throughout the year, added distractions of Christmas make it especially important to be vigilant during the festive season

Have some fun with your family spotting all the hazards in our Byrnes family festive scene and avoid making the same mistakes in your home.

Festive tips to make your festive celebrations memorable for the right reasons:


Electrics and Christmas lights

Christmas Byrnes Sockets.jpg
Overloaded sockets are a fire risk
  • Don’t overload sockets. Ensure only one plug per socket.  Always turn off electrical items when they are not in use unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
  • Always unplug electrical items after charging. Do not leave items on charge overnight or when you go out.
  • Always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store.

Fairy lights and Christmas tree lights don’t get used often and so need more care:

  • Always test lights before you switch them on.
  • Check that the fuse in the plug is the right size (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use).
  • Replace bulbs that have blown.
  • Don't leave decorative lights on when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Don't let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, such as paper or fabrics.
  • Ensure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or before you leave the house. Check they conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598) and are in good working order before use.


Christmas trees and decorations

Christmas Byrnes Decorations.jpg
Always blow out candles if you leave the room - never leave them unattended
  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep candles out of the reach of children, and away from decorations, cards and wrapping paper, fires, lights and heaters.
  • If you have a real Christmas tree, keep it watered regularly to prevent it drying out. If your tree catches fire, a watered tree will burn slower.
  • Keep tinsel, paper decorations and greeting cards away from heaters, lights, fireplaces and candles - see more candle and tea light safety advice


Smoke alarms and escape plans

Christmas Byrnes Batteries.jpg
Always buy enough batteries for toys - never remove them from your smoke alarms

Smoke alarms

  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home. It can give you the vital time you need to escape in a fire.
  • Test them regularly and never remove batteries!
  • Do something good this Christmas. Test the smoke alarms of someone you know who may need help, such as an older relative or neighbour to ensure their safety. They are at greater risk from fire. You could even give them a free home safety visit from Kent Fire and Rescue Service – to see if they qualify please call 0800 923 7000 or email your contact details to
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home. It can give you the vital time you need to escape in a fire.

Emergency plan



Christmas Byrnes Kitchen distractions.jpg
Distractions in the kitchen can be hazardous - how can you reduce them?
  • Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high-risk area.
  • Be sure to avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol.
  • Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
  • Try to focus on the cooking - it's easy to be distracted by your phone and social media, your children and people at the door - can you ask people to help and keep your phone out of the kitchen?



Christmas Byrnes Cigarettes.jpg
Cigarettes left unattended can lead to a fire
  • Put your cigarette out - right out.
  • Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and take care when under the influence of alcohol or tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and start a fire.
  • More advice for smokers.


After Christmas, open fires and celebration fireworks

Christmas Byrnes Fireplace.jpg
Always use a fireguard over open fires

From everyone at Kent Fire and Rescue Service - we wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas.

Connect with us
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • YouTube icon
  • Flickr icon
  • GovDelivery icon
  • Instagram icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • YouTube icon
  • Flickr icon
  • GovDelivery icon
  • Instagram icon