Published: 08/12/2012 19:00 - Updated: 07/12/2012 12:55

Fire safety plea to Moray folk

MORAY’S fire service is calling on local people to be safe this Christmas, with statistics showing that homes are 50% more likely to fall victim to blazes over the festive season.

Fire stations across Grampian have this week ramped up their Christmas safety message, as people prepare to get in the party mood.

Elgin-based watch manager, Alan Weston, said people are 50% more likely to die in an accidental house fire during the Christmas festivities than at any other time of the year. "Most house fires start in the kitchen," he warned.

"The risk of a fire occurring in your kitchen increases considerably after alcohol has been consumed. Never leave cooking unattended – don’t fry and die."

Mr Weston said people should only use fairy lights that conform to the British standard. People should also be mindful of using candles, he said, as well as electric blankets during the cold winter nights.

Overloading electrical sockets can be another potential danger, he pointed out.

Mr Weston added: "Always switch Christmas tree lights off and unplug them at night, when the room is going to be unoccupied for a lengthy period of time.

"Never place candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings. Never leave burning candles unattended, and always ensure that they are in proper holders so they can’t fall over."

The fire service in Moray has already been hard at work conveying its fire safety message, with an initiative in Hopeman being staged over the past months.

This has seen fire crews hand out free smoke detectors, as well as organise a fire safety poster competition amongthe 1st Hopeman Brownies and Rainbows.

The contest was won by seven-year-old Carla Russell, who impressed judges with her message to "stop, drop and roll" and yell "fire, help!" from windows to attract attention if you fall victim to a blaze inside your home.

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