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Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars

State Fire and Rescue Service urges residents to not forget about safety during the holiday

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safety, Christmas, VUGD, fire, smoke detectorChristmas and New Year’s celebration is the time when all households organize celebrations, burn candles, light up furnaces, fireplaces and saunas, prepare meals, as well as make the holiday livelier with fireworks. To prevent the celebration from becoming a tragedy, Latvia’s State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) urges people to not forget about safety.

Holidays are associated with intense work for all services, because experience from previous years shows that people act more recklessly during holidays, which often leads to tragic consequences. VUGD notes that recklessness is one of the reasons why people often die in fires – most accidents could have been avoided if people followed fire safety rules.

In 2018 fire fighters were called in to put out 26 fires the cause of which was likely burning candles left unattended at home. More than 10 such fires have been registered this year. One person has been injured so far.

To prevent a candle from causing a fire, remember to:

  • Put candles on a stable surface away from potentially flammable objects or sources of heat (radiators, furnaces or fireplaces);
  • Remember that a burning candle creates heat, which is why it should be put on a safe distance away from flammable objects;
  • Burning candles should not be left unattended for even a short period of time! Before leaving a room with a burning candle in it, it is necessary to put out the candle.

VUGD reminds that candles affixed to Christmas tree branches present a fire hazard, as it can cause decorations or the tree itself to catch fire!

Fire safety should not be forgotten when lighting a fireplace, furnace or even when using a sauna!

One of the most common causes for fire breaking out is improper use of heating equipment. This is why when using a sauna, lighting a fireplace or furnace, do keep in mind fire safety rules:

  • do not use damaged heating equipment or chimneys;
  • do not leave easily flammable objects near heating equipment and don’t dry closes or footwear near them.
  • If you use heating equipment only during holidays, make sure to check before using if the chimney is not blocked with soot.
  • Electric appliances also have a manual – so read and follow it!

Colourful light bulbs add to the beauty of any Christmas tree or room, but it is worth keeping in mind that their improper use may also cause a fire. If you pick electric lights for Christmas tree decorations, be sure to read the instruction manual and use the lights indoors, do not use indoor Christmas lights to decorate your house’s façade. Be sure to check if the lights are not damaged!

Fireworks – pretty but dangerous if safety precautions are ignored!

Many people like using fireworks during celebrations. However, violation of safety rules and recklessness can turn celebration into tragedy. If you use fireworks, be sure to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to clear your balcony of any flammable objects before the holiday, because a rocket fired by neighbours might end up in our balcony and cause a fire;
  • Be sure to purchase fireworks at certified stores and read the manual carefully before using products;
  • Set up fireworks on a stable surface before using them to avoid accidents, and do not light fireworks again if they do not work initially!

If you decide to attend the festive firework display, be sure to stay away at a safe distance to avoid receiving potential burns!

Do not forget about the safety of children during celebrations!

Children anxiously wait for festivities more than other people, this is why find the time to explain the importance of safety with them.

It is recommended to entrust children with small tasks when preparing for celebrations and keep an eye on them. Children should not be left alone in a room with a burning fireplace. Older children should not be entrusted with lighting a fireplace or other heating object. VUGD reminds that children are not allowed to use fireworks!

Smoke detector – a great gift!

If you still don’t know what to get your friends and relatives as presents for Christmas, here is an idea – get them a smoke detector! Often tragic fires happen when people sleep, because people do not smell smoke while they sleep. But people do hear sounds, so a smoke detector can help prevent a fire and save lives.

VUGD wishes residents a safe and fun-filled celebration! Nevertheless, if an accident happens and assistance is required, residents are urged to call 112 hotline for emergencies!

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