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Firefighters highlight importance of festive fire safety


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service highlighted the importance of festive fire safety during a visit to West Rhyl this week.


Firefighters spent the day engaging with shoppers outside the town hall on Wednesday, talking to local residents about fire safety and giving away specially branded cooking timers. They also undertook a number of free home fire safety checks in the local area.


Issues discussed included the dangers of leaving cooking unattended and candle and Christmas lights safety.


One of the main dangers highlighted was the consequences of cooking after drinking - in 2007, Sean Bowers, 24, from Penyffordd andAndrew Roberts, 39, from Ruthin, both died following separate fires in their homes both caused by chip pans. Both had been drinking, and had arrived home to cook themselves something to eat. Andrew had finished cooking and had fallen asleep on the couch but failed to turn off the gas. Sean also fell asleep with the chip pan left on the stove. The chip pans overheated and caught fire - Sean and Andrew never woke up.


Tom Pyefrom North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:


"Leaving cooking unattended is often a recipe for disaster and if you've been drinking you're even more vulnerable as you're at high risk of being distracted and falling asleep. If you're asleep and a fire breaks out, you're in serious trouble. This is why it is essential to have working smoke alarms in your home.


"Please ensure that Christmas this year is not remembered for all the wrong reasons - avoid your lives going up in smoke by following the tips listed below."


Christmas Safety Tips


  • Always turn Christmas tree lights off and remove the plug at night or when the room is going to be unoccupied for a length of time.
  • Ensure Christmas lights carry the British Safety Standard mark.
  • Do not overload plug sockets.
  • Ensure candles are in proper holders so they can't fall over, and do not leave lit candles unattended for any length of time.
  • Make sure open fires are well guarded and that wrapping paper, Christmas decorations etc., are kept well away.
  • Make sure smokers extinguish their cigarettes completely.
  • Take extra care after drinking alcohol.
  • Push the button, not your luck - Check your smoke alarms are working and don't be tempted to use the batteries to power any Christmas presents.
  • Make your plan. Get out alive - will everyone (including guests) know where your door and window keys are kept?
  • Don't be distracted when cooking - fire starts when your attention stops.




North Wales Fire and Rescue Service supplies and fits alarms free of charge, and will give fire safety hints and tips as well as helping you design a fire escape plan for your home. To take advantage of their friendly and informal home visits, book a free Home Safety Check call the 24 hour hotline on 0800 1691234 or visit



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