Save yourself from becoming the Christmas Grinch

09 November 2018

Public, Home fire safety

With Christmas preparations underway across Kent and Medway, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has launched its festive safety campaign that calls on parents to be smart about safety and to avoid becoming the ‘Grinch' who stole Christmas. KFRS has released a new safety film in the theme of the classic Dr Seuss book and is a parody of the Christmas movie favourite. The safety film comes as a new animated movie version of the festive story is being screen at cinemas across the UK. 

The new film by KFRS focuses on helping parents to remember some helpful safety tips to carry out around the home to reduce fire risk, and save Christmas from turning into a disaster; preventing them from becoming the Christmas Grinch in the eyes of their children.

Fires in the home happen all year round, and Christmas is no exception; especially with an increase in more flammable materials like paper, card and decorations. Last Christmas KFRS attended 68 accidental fires in the home.

The total number of accidental house fires over Christmas and New Year (1 December to 6 January inclusive):

  • 2017 - 68
  • 2016 – 68
  • 2015 – 57
  • 2014– 66

Over half of the domestic fires that Kent Fire and Rescue Service attends happen in the kitchen. 

Group Manager for Community Safety at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Leanne McMahon said: “Christmas is a time for celebrations, with many family and friends coming together to enjoy the festivities. Without taking extra care, it is easy to become distracted with so much going on and this could lead to disaster. Kent Fire and Rescue Service would like to ensure everyone has a safe and happy festive season. Our Grinch film has some cute fun, but also comes with some really important but simple top tips for keeping you and your family safe this Christmas and New Year." 

Dr Seuss’s best-selling book ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ centres on a furry green festive grump and has been adapted for the screen before, most famously in 2000 with Jim Carrey, however this year’s version stars Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of The Grinch. 

In the fire safety parody the Grinch appears to be doing things around the home that involves fire risk - luckily a friendly firefighter is close at hand to help guide the Grinch to safety. The video also has an element of poetry like the book in the hope it might inspire people to remember the important safety messages. 

The film asks people to think about;

  • Moving candles lit away from things that can burn like cards, decorations and curtains.      
  • Making sure that there’s no overloaded sockets and that things are unplugged when not in use.
  • Cooking distractions, especially avoiding taking phone calls or looking at social media when something is on the hob or in the oven.
  • Think ahead and buy enough batteries so you’re ready for the presents that need them on Christmas day, rather than removing them from the smoke alarm.
  • Making sure the smoke alarm is still tested each week - it’ll help alert you to a fire and could save your life.

There are many other Christmas safety tips include: 

  • Make a fire escape plan and discuss it with your family. Ensure any visiting friends and family are aware of the escape plan too.
  • Ensure you have a bedtime safety check routine. Check Christmas lights are off, cigarettes are out, candles are out and electrics are off (where possible) before you go to bed.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive – get those taxis booked for any nights out on the town.
  • Never cook after drinking – you can easily become distracted.

If you would like some information about how to stay safe at home, please call our Home Safety team on 0800 923 7000; you could well be eligible for a FREE Safe and Well Visit from our team. 

Make sure your sockets aren't overloaded