Have you carried out your Fire Prevention Obligations?

A study in December 2011 found that there were  2834 accidental fires throughout the UK alone due to Christmas decorations and with all the excitement regarding Christmas time we sometimes forget to remember what’s most important. Fire Safety. The bright lights and colorful decorations sometimes distract us from remembering to keep them far away from flammable fabrics and turning them off when we leave the house as you may never know when one little light could completely ruin your whole Christmas.  So we have highlighted below some Christmas lights Do’s and Dont’s 

When it comes to lights do:

  • Check for safety marks such as the BS Kitemark when buying lights.

  • Read the instructions and check that the right rating of fuse is installed.

  • Choose energy-saving LEDs, which emit less heat and cost less to use.

  • Replace failed bulbs straight away to avoid overheating and use the same type and rating as the originals.

  • Switch lights off when you go out or go to bed.

  • Make sure outdoor lights are connected via a 30mA RCD protected socket.

  • Use a surge-proof plug adaptor.

  • Consider battery-operated sets of lights in indoor areas where a socket is not nearby. This prevents trailing wires across the room.

  • Touch the wires every so often to check for overheating.

  • If you are using a Christmas tree stand with a water reservoir, don’t let the wires trail into the water.

Even if your tree is real or fake it is still highly flammable. Make sure there is an extinguisher on-site or close by AND remember to turn the plugs off at night. As we all know many of our tree decorations are made of cardboard or paper, and these are materials that burn the most and the fastest. To prevent any paper decorations catching fire, or even the whole tree, you need to remember to unplug your Christmas tree.


When it comes to lights don’t:

  • Use lights that are damaged.

  • Replace bulbs when the lights are connected to the mains.

  • Plug adaptors into one another as you risk overloading the socket.

  • Use indoor lights outside (outdoor lights must have the correct IP rating and be specifically designed for outdoor use).

  • Don’t run cables across escape routes or thoroughfares.

  • Hang external lights in wet or windy weather.

  • Put lights on flammable decorations or materials.

In the end, we all want a perfect Christmas, so why would you not remember to use these simple safety precautions? At any time you can call MCL or a specialist if you are worried about your smoke detector, fire alarm or fire extinguisher.