Fire service candle warning ahead of a season of celebrations

EAST Sussex Fire & Rescue has issued a warning about the risk of home fires ahead of a week-long campaign later this month.

With a season of celebrations lined up such as Halloween, Guy Fawkes’ night and Diwali, a more people scattering candles around the room to lend a warm glow to the evening, the fire & rescue service has launched its Candle Fire Safety Week from November 19 to 25.

With candle fires resulting in over 350 casualties each year, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are asking people to take extra care with candles this winter - over 40 per cent of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury. In 2011/12 there were 797 fires started by candles resulting in eight fatalities and 327 casualties.

According to East Sussex Fire & Rescue, fitting a smoke alarm is imperative.

To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, you should make sure your candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and ensure candles are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.

Dave Sheppard, Borough Commander for Eastbourne said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights.

“But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.

“Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.”

“Even with these precautions it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by practising your escape routes.”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers free Home Safety Visits and talks on fire safety in the home. Call Freephone 0800 177 7069 to see if you are eligible for free personalised home safety advice, smoke alarm check and expert help with fitting if you need more, or new, smoke alarms.

For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/firekills