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Christmas and other Celebrations

Each year we hold events to mark our religious and cultural beliefs as well as simply in aid of celebration, festivals and special events in our lives. Candles, fireworks and lanterns are commonly used when we are celebrating festivals and events and it important to know how to use them safely.

See our ‘top tips’ below to keep your celebrations safe and sensible all year round in addition to checking your smoke alarm. If you don’t have a smoke alarm, buy one that conforms to BS 5446: Part 1 and carries a kite mark.




• Always ensure decorations, including trees, are flame retardant and aren’t placed too close to open fires, heaters or radiators

• Ensure cards aren’t hung close to open fires, heaters or radiators

• Ensure you use the correct rated fuse and a good quality plug adapter when plugging lighting into power sockets and never leave lighting unattended

• Don’t trail electrical flexes across doors or under carpets or mats where they may fray and cause a fire or become a trip hazard

• Always choose a flat, stable surface with a proper candle-holder

• Use LED candles wherever possible

• Leave plenty of space around the candle and holder and keep in draught-free areas away from curtains and other flammable surfaces

• Never place candles directly on polished surfaces – particularly the TV

• Never leave candles unattended or move once it is lit

• Keep candles out of reach of children and away from pets



• Only buy fireworks with a CE mark

• Light fireworks at arm’s length using a taper, stand well back and never go back to a lit firework

• Never throw fireworks or put them in your pockets or clothing

• Light sparklers one at a time wearing gloves, and place used sparklers in a bucket of water

• Never give sparklers to children under five

• It is illegal to sell fireworks to someone under the age of 18 or to light fireworks in a public place

• For more information on Firework Safety, visit:


Floating Sky Lanterns:

Also referred to as ‘Chinese Lanterns’, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service strongly advise members of the public and commercial organisations not to purchase or release these lanterns under any circumstance. These lanterns pose a huge threat to outdoor surfaces such as thatch roofing as well as causing danger to people and to animals when they land and should in no way be used at festivals, events or celebrations.


Other things to consider:

• Always take extra care when people are smoking and drinking

• Empty all ashtrays and ensure the contents are fully extinguished before discarded

• Clear away wrapping and paper from gifts and other items, disposing of them in a refuse or recycling bin