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5 ways to stay fire safe this festive season:

Stay safe this holiday season!
By Expert Tips
Date: December 20 2022
Editor Rating:

During the festive season, people tend to let their hair down and relax. However, one area where it is important to remain vigilant is with home fire safety.

“Many people associate winter as the key season for residential fires, but fires in the home can occur at any time throughout the year. In summer there are plenty of hazards to be aware of, particularly when it comes to Christmas trees, decorative lights, candles, excited kids and pets, and overworked power boards,” says Stuart Edgley, Managing Director of Emerald, makers of quality smoke alarms and fire safety technology.

“Not only can the hot and dry summer weather provide ideal conditions for fires to start, but people can also be away from their homes on holidays or leaving pets at home alone more frequently due to busier than usual social schedules. So it’s important to be prepared – be aware of fire dangers in the home and make sure you’re protected if something goes wrong,” continued Mr Edgley.

The most common fire dangers in your home

The majority of fires begin in the kitchen, sleeping areas and lounge area of a home, with the most common causes being heat sources and electrical short circuits.

“Basically any device that generates heat, or heats up with extended use, is a potential fire hazard. This includes stoves, clothes dryers, computers, lights, or fans,” explains Mr Edgley. “Most house fires start from cooking, often when left unattended or by oil or other ingredients catching fire. That is easy to do when there is a lot going on.”

Electrical appliances and faults cause almost 40% of house fires. At Christmas time, decorative lights may become very hot and are often placed near flammable materials such as wrapping paper, decorations, or curtains.

“Lights really need to be checked for faults and turned off before going to bed. Candles should also be extinguished whenever you leave the room. It is equally important to ensure they are placed in a safe position and away from pets and children,” continues Mr Edgley. “Power boards are also a concern as they can be easily overloaded with new gadgets and appliances.”

It is also important to use caution when charging lithium-ion-powered devices, which are often popular Christmas gifts including e-bikes, e-scooters and e-skateboards. Firefighters are concerned the number of residential fires triggered by these batteries will increase considerably over coming years, as these devices become more popular. Overcharging and overheating can occur, especially in summer, making these batteries extremely dangerous.

As recently explained by Fire & Rescue NSW “It is not uncommon for firefighters to respond to fires which have been caused by lithium-ion battery-powered equipment. FRNSW is urging people to do their research before purchasing, using and storing these items.”

Expert tips for staying fire safe this festive season

1.     Install a smoke alarms system and test monthly. Install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the kitchen, living areas, every bedroom and outside all sleeping areas, plus the garage and/or workshop.

2.     Have 24/7 visibility of your smoke alarm system via a Wi-Fi gateway such as Emerald’s SafeLink Smoke Alarm Gateway.

3.     Only use decorative lights that have an Australian Standards label and follow manufacturer's instructions on setting up and operating. Keep children and pets away from lights, candles, and matches.

4.     Never leave cooking unattended and to make sure you have a fire blanket or extinguisher within arm’s reach that meets Australian Standards.

5.     Don’t overload power boards, piggyback double adaptors or overcharge lithium-ion-powered devices. For maximum safety, ensure power boards have both overload protection and earth leakage protection devices incorporated. Do you research regarding lithium-ion battery-powered equipment

“It only takes three minutes for a fire to take hold in your home and when you’re asleep you will not smell smoke - in fact, it will put you into a deeper sleep. Therefore, working smoke alarms are critical,” says Mr Edgley. “While accidents happen, you’re twice as likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm. Therefore my number one tip is to expect and prepare for accidents by having the right technology to keep you and your family safe.”

“That includes installing interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms on every level of your home and testing monthly. That may seem like a lot, but our latest technology – the SafeLink Smoke Alarm Gateway - allows you to have 24/7 visibility of your smoke alarm system via your phone. You can even check your system if you’re overseas or have you neighbour on quick dial from the app if you get alerted to an alarm going,” finished Mr Edgley.


For more information: visit

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