‘Tis the season to be jolly!

Follow our quick and easy tips for staying safe this Christmas

Smoke Alarms & Cooking

Fit them, test them weekly and NEVER be tempted to remove the batteries to power toys and other presents.

Try to find a few minutes to test the smoke alarms of someone who might struggle to do it alone – especially if they’re elderly.

For more information on smoke alarm, see our smoke alarms section

Don’t drink alcohol before or during cooking, and never leave a cooker unattended when it’s in use.

Avoid trailing electrical leads and cables in the kitchen, and take care if you flambé or flame the Christmas pud!

Driving & Visitors

Drinking and being under the influence of drugs (both illegal and legal) can affect your vision, co-ordination and judgement, resulting in slower reaction times and stopping distances.

If you’re planning to go out for a drink: order a taxi (in advance), use public transport or get a relative or friend to pick you up.

Remember: you might still be over the limit the morning after a night’s drinking.

Check the local and national weather forecasts and do your vehicle checks: water, fuel, oil, tyres, wipers, lights, anti-freeze and oil. Take your sat nav and/or road map, and your mobile phone – is it charged?

In icy and snowy conditions, make sure you’re equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. Take a spade, clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer

Match your speed and breaking distances to the driving conditions.

Make sure people in your home know how to escape in case of fire – the route, how your doors unlock, and where you keep the keys. And take time to check on older relatives, friends and neighbours, who are at potentially at greater risk from fire.

If visiting others, make sure you know where the exits are and how to get out if you need to.

Toys and gadgets

Presents! They’re one of the best parts of Christmas, but with electronic gizmos and gadgets, it’s important to make sure you use them properly.

Always use the correct cables and chargers. Don’t be tempted to use that ‘old one that looks about the same’ because the shops are closed. It’s important to follow manufacturers instructions and use the right ones.

Be certain that gadgets and toys carry the correct safety standards marks to ensure they are safe for you or your family.

Make sure batteries are safe and in good condition  – no taking them from your smoke alarm!


from all of us at West Midlands Fire Service, we wish you a safe and very Merry Christmas.