Winter fire safety tips

Heating, electrical equipment and Christmas decorations all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the colder months.
Follow our top tips to help reduce the risk to fire…


January and February are peak months for heating fires.
Most of these fires are easily preventable and are caused by heaters falling over and catching clothes or furniture alight. Fire Brigades are urging people not to become another statistic by following this advice:

  • Never sit too close to the heater as you could set light to your clothes or furniture
  • Heaters should stand where they can’t be knocked over
  • Do not put anything on the heater or use it to dry fabric


Carbon Monoxide

You cannot see it, taste it or smell it but CO can kill quickly with little warning.

Approximately 50 people die every year from CO poisoning caused by gas, oil and solid fuel appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated.

What preventative measures can I take?

  • Ensure that any work carried out in relation to gas appliances in domestic or commercial premises is to be undertaken by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, competent in that area of work
  • The HSE strongly advises that gas appliances and / or flues are installed and serviced regularly for safety by a Gas Safe is legally obliged to carry out an annual gas safety check and maintain gas appliances. They must provide you with a copy of the completed gas safety check certificate
  • If you have a wood or coal burning stove fitted, make sure it is fitted by a HETAS approved installer. Make sure your chimneys are swept twice a year
  • Always make sure there is enough fresh air in the room containing your gas, oil or solid fuel appliance. If you have a chimney or a flue, ensure it is not blocked up and also ensure that vents are not covered
  • Do not use appliances like paraffin heaters and cabinet heaters in your property



Approximately half of all home electrical fires involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary heaters.


Christmas tree disposal

Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. Almost 40 per cent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious.