Fire started by Christmas tree lights prompts festive warning from rescue services

Christmas tree fairy lights were blamed for the fire in a Denny flat

Christmas tree fairy lights were blamed for the fire in a Denny flat

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A festive warning has been issued after firefighters were called to a blaze caused by Christmas tree fairy lights.

Sunday evening’s incident occurred at a flat in Nisbet Drive, Denny.

Cotton wool round the owner’s artificial tree caught fire from the decorative lights.

The emergency call was received shortly after 10 p.m. and was quickly dealt with by a crew from the town’s fire station.

However, it led to a warning for people to be extra vigilant at this time of year.

Christmas trees, decorations, lights, roaring fires and candles are just some of the winter and Christmas essentials that can spark tragedy if they aren’t monitored carefully and precautions taken.

Alarming statistics show that more people die in house fires across Scotland over the Christmas period than at any other time of year.

Station manager Mark Bryce said: “While the festive season is a time for celebration and gathering together with family and friends we would like to raise awareness of the hidden dangers in the home over Christmas.

“Extra caution is also needed with natural Christmas trees, particularly if surrounded by lights or nearby candles, as these trees are very dry and highly flammable.

“The festive period is traditionally marked by a high incidence of domestic fires because houses contain more combustible materials than usual, whether it be trees, wrapping paper, candles or decorative lights.

“The good news is that these tragedies can be avoided by adopting some basic fire safety rules.”

The handy guide to avoiding tragedy this festive period includes:

-  Unplug fairy lights or other electrical Christmas decorations when you leave the house or go to bed.

- Check fairy lights are in good working order and replace any bulbs that have blown.

- Bulbs can get very hot, don’t let them touch materials that can scorch or burn easily, such as paper or fabrics.

- Make sure the fuse in the plug is the correct rating.

- If you need to plug more than one appliance into an electrical socket use a multi-socket adaptor which is fitted with a fuse and has surge protection.

- Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily.

- Don’t attach them to lights or heaters or immediately above or around the fireplace.

- Keep them away from candles.

A wide range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe from fire are available on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website at www.firescotland.gov.uk/winter.