The Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service (GFRS) and Trading Standards are asking islanders to make sure they are conscious of fire hazards this Christmas, to ensure no one’s year ends in disaster.
The GFRS are reminding people of general Christmas fire safety advice, and Trading Standards are drawing attention to potentially dangerous Christmas decorations, such as those with candles embedded in flowers and other foliage. Both teams have a message they deem the most important though:
Don’t leave burning candles unattended
David Mullins, Head of Trading Standards, said: “In recent years there has been a growing trend to have candles in amongst foliage as decorations. Remember, fire and dry plants don’t mix. Even if you intend to keep an eye on it, it isn’t hard to fall asleep after a Christmas lunch. You also can’t assume the arrangement is fire safe just because it has been purchased, so make sure you ask your retailers if anything has been done to make them safe”.
Putting candles in jars or glass vases to keep them away from the plants is one way to keep the decorations safer, but there are now a number of good alternatives to candles to avoid having an open flame altogether.
Gary Van der Linden, the Fire Safety Manager for the Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Our general advice would be to follow Trading Standards advice when you are selecting your Christmas decorations. There are now some good alternatives to naked flames, but even these should be checked for safety markers like the British Standard Safety sign. The most important thing to avoid doing is leaving lit candles unattended. If you are leaving the room, put it out first“.