Articles – Fire and Smoke Damage

Keeping you and your property fire safe this Christmas

Christmas is seen by many as the most wonderful time of the year. Along with Christmas decorations and perhaps more cooking than usual, there are naturally additional fire hazards in your home that you may not have considered beyond the usual. We have compiled a list of suggestions to keep you and your property fire safe this Christmas.


  1. Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly. It may be tempting to remove the batteries when your cooking triggers the alarm but please put your safety first.

  2. Invest in quality Christmas lights that carry the British Safety Standard sign. Replace any old lights every couple of years too, as safety regulations may have changed since your last purchase. Test the lights to check they work before adding them to your decorations, and if you need to replace any bulbs inspect that the right fuses are fitted.

  3. Switch off and unplug all your Christmas lights when you are out of the house or in bed. Overheating lights can cause a fire to start, and without supervision this could be disastrous.

  4. Excessive plug and extension lead usage from one socket can cause overheating and even blow fuses. Refrain from connecting all your Christmas lights to one socket.

  5. Classic decorations made from tinsel, paper or plastic materials may well be part of your dazzling Christmas display, but they can be very flammable. Avoid putting these decorations near open fires, candles and lights – perhaps use them on your bannister instead!

  6. If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure it is kept secure in a water-resistant stand with a consistent supply of water. This will help it to stay hydrated, as if trees dry out, they become a bigger fire risk. Real Christmas trees let out noxious gases if they became alight, and can spread fire rapidly as they are extremely flammable – refrain from putting yours near open fire.

  7. If you are using candles/an open fire on a cosy Christmas night, never leave them unattended or near children, objects or decorations. Extinguish them fully before going out or to bed and never leave matches where children can get to them.

  8. According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60% of home fires begin in the kitchen as a result of unattended cooking. Don’t let that be your home this Christmas – take extra care with your hob and oven and avoid leaving anything flammable such as tea towels close by.

  9. Before going to bed, make sure all the doors in your house are closed. This will reduce the quick spread of fire if disaster does strike.

  10. If you or any of your guests are smoking indoors, make sure ashtrays are used and that cigarettes and cigars are fully extinguished.


Polygon is a market leader in fire damage restoration. Find out more about how fire and smoke damage can affect your home here.

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