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Fire Warning to Dorset Homes this Winter

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7:31am 20th November 2013

Snuff out the risk of fire in your home

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service is asking us to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week (18th-24th November) and snuff out the risk of fire in our homes.

Winter is on its way and with darker evenings more of us will be using candles to lighten up a gloomy evening and bring some festive cheer. However people are being warned about leaving candles unattended as candle fires result in around 350 casualties each year with nearly 40% of all fires started by candles resulting in death or injury.

Kate Huelin, Prevention Manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue service 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.

"Even with these precautions it's vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm 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 practising your escape routes."

To help you enjoy your candles safely, the Fire Kills campaign has offered some tips for this Candle Fire Safety Week:

- Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they're out completely at night.
- Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets ad children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.
- Don't move candles once they are lit
- Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare
- Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
- Put candles out with a snuffer or spoon- sparks can fly if you blow them out.
- Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquify when heated to maximise fragrance.
- Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur practise your escape route.

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