Council issues Christmas fire safety tips


 December 13, 2016
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Donegal County Council has issued the following safety tips to prevent tragedy from fire at Christmas.

Christmas Trees

Place real Christmas trees securely in a sturdy base filled with water – metal stands cause trees to dry out and become flammable.
Check water level daily
Ensure artificial trees have been pre-treated to increase flame resistance
Keep tree away from candles, heaters, fireplaces or other heat sources
Dispose of tree properly – never burn a real tree in the fireplace

View a video that demonstrates how quickly a fire can develop when a Christmas tree catches fire:

Christmas Lights


Only buy Christmas lights marked with a safety standard
Make sure a competent person checks all connections and examines the wiring for fraying
If in doubt, throw them out.
Don’t overload sockets
Unplug all Christmas lights and electrical appliances before leaving your home or going to bed


Ensure lights are suitable for outdoor use
Check all wiring and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Fasten the bulbs securely and point the sockets down to avoid moisture building up.
Never use indoor extension leads outside.
Keep outdoor electrical connections above ground and out of puddles and snow.
Ensure trees hung with Christmas lights are not touching power lines


An Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs (ODCA) survey found that consumers are exposed to serious risk due to the lack of advice when using candles and candle-holders. Of the 482 items inspected 117 or 24.3% failed a visual risk assessment either due to lack of warnings, warnings not provided in English or because the items clearly presented a safety hazard.

Remember when it comes to candles:

Keep them out of reach of children and pets
Trim the wick to 6mm (1/4 inch) each time before burning
Always use an appropriate candleholder placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface
Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents
Extinguish a candle if it smokes or flickers repeatedly or if the flame becomes too high
Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times
Do not burn a candle for longer than manufacturer recommends
Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container
Place lighted candles at least 75mm apart form one another
Never place a candle on top of a TV set and keep well away from curtains
Always extinguish candles before leaving the house or going to bed
Never use candles on Christmas trees, even artificial ones
Remember hot wax burns!

Other Christmas Fire Safety Tips

Never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace
Keep strings of Christmas cards away from candles and open fires
Fit a spark guard in front of open fires
Extinguish cigarettes properly and do not let ashtrays get overfilled
Check that your smoke alarms are in perfect working order
Never remove batteries from smoke alarm to use in children’s toys
Clean out the oven and stove prior to Christmas

– See more at: