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Emergency Response, News

Fire Service issues Christmas Fire Safety reminder

© Pat Flynn 2014

© Pat Flynn 2014

Clare County Fire & Rescue Service is reminding householders of the basics of fire safety in the home over the Christmas and New Year period.

The annual campaign comes as the Fire Service confirmed that Brigades throughout Clare were mobilised to 45 incidents during the 2013 Christmas period, representing a third successive drop in festive fire callouts since 2009.

The call-out figures for between December 20th 2013 and January 3rd 2014 were less than those recorded during the corresponding periods in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14 when the Fire Service was mobilised to 81, 64 and 48 incidents respectively.

6 of the call-outs related to house fires with a further 6 call-outs involving chimney fires, while fire-fighters also attended 14 road-based incidents, 4 agricultural building fires, 3 storage building fires and 5 false alarm incidents.

Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council is urging the public to familiarise themselves with the fire safety advice, which may be viewed on the Clare County Council website at http://www.clarecoco.ie.

“While Christmas is a time for celebration, it is important that the public remains alert to the fire dangers that exist at their homes. I encourage householders across Clare to think about fire safety ahead of and during the Christmas period to avoid the risk of their Christmas being ruined,” stated the Cathaoirleach.

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.

“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,” commented Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer.

“Clare County Fire and Rescue Service wishes everyone a safe Christmas and a happy New Year,” 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 save lives
– 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.

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