Berkshire fire service issues candle 'devastation' warning

Berkshire fire service issues candle 'devastation' warning

Berkshire's fire service has warned people of the dangers of using candles in the home ahead of the winter period.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week and reduce the risk of fire in their homes.

With winter approaching, candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations.

But RBFRS says that candle fires result in about 300 casualties each year - with approximately a third (32 per cent) of all fires started by candles and attended by fire and rescue services leading to a death or injury.

The service says that the 'most important step' people can take is to ensure a home has working smoke alarms.

Keeping candles away from flammable materials like curtains and ensure candles are put out when you leave the room are other safety measures recommended by fire crews. 

Gail Muirhead, prevention manager for RBFRS, 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."

He added: “Even with these precautions, it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen.

"Working smoke alarms 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 practicing your escape routes.”

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