Christmas dinner, Christmas presents, home decorations – there is a lot to think about in preparations for Christmas. The National Fire Authority (NFA) is urging the general public to put fire safety on top of their Christmas list this year.

Whilst fire safety is vital throughout the year, the extra activities during Christmas makes it important to be vigilant during the festive season. The NFA is advising the general public to take extra care over the festive season to ensure that their families and loved ones are protected from any fire incident.

NFA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Puamau Sowane says Christmas is a time for festive cheers with family and friends and lights, candles, decorations, and increased cooking means it is also a time to take extra precautions in and around homes to prevent any fire.

“To ensure you have an enjoyable Christmas, keep fire safety at the top of your list. Ensure to keep check around your homes, on children and on any cooking that is being done,” he said.

“Since school holidays have also started, we need to ensure that children are supervised at all times.”

“We are going through hard times in Fiji and the world over. We have seen the drastic impact of COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning of this year and now the tropical cyclone Yasa has left many families vulnerable. We do  not want families losing their valuables and assets to a fire at this time,” he added.

Some simple rules and key fire safety tips to keep your family safe during this festive season:

Safety while in the Kitchen

  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you are cooking always remember never to leave it unattended.
  •  Always off the appliances after you have finished cooking.
  • If you are under the influence of alcohol, avoid cooking. Mishaps can happen and start a major fire.
  • Do not allow children or pets in the kitchen while cooking
  • Keep stoves and grills free from grease and fat build up.
  • Keep stoves away from towels and curtains.
  • While cooking outdoor, keep firewood neatly stacked away from the fire place
  • Never underestimate firewood embers. Put them out completely after use. It only takes a slight breeze to fan it alight.

Never leave burning candles unattended

  • Keep candles out of the reach of children, away from decorations, cards, gift wrappers, fires, curtains or flammable substances.

Ensure decorating lights are monitored

  • Switch off and unplug all electrical decorating lights before you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Check that Christmas tree lights are in good working order

Always ensure that everyone at home knows what to do in the event of a fire.

Call 910 for any emergency or rescue and in the event of a fire, please quickly evacuate and quickly alert the NFA.

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