Belfast Telegraph

Fire service in warning over blazes at Christmas

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said house fire fatalities were most likely to occur between November and February (stock photo)
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said house fire fatalities were most likely to occur between November and February (stock photo)

By Anna McKibbin

Homeowners have been urged to check their properties for potential Christmas fire hazards.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said house fire fatalities were most likely to occur between November and February.

Six people lost their lives through accidental house fires in the 12 months to April - four of them during the winter period

Alan Walmsley, the assistant chief fire and rescue officer, warned people to "look out for each other throughout the winter months."

He also urged people to minimise the likelihood of winter house fires by monitoring potential sources of fire "such as candles, Christmas tree lights, portable heaters, and overloaded sockets."

Mr Walmsley said: "If you hear a neighbour's smoke alarm going off, don't ignore it - go and check."

A third (34%) of the 809 accidental house fires in 2018/19 took place between November and February. In 2017/18, 36% of the year's fires happened in the same period.

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