FIREFIGHTERS in South Tyneside are urging people not to let their Christmas go up in smoke.
The festive safety reminder comes ahead of the big day, when homes are set to be filled with family and yuletide cheer.
However, while firefighters want people to have fun, they also want them to stay safe.
Watch manager for prevention and education, Ray Houghton, said: “Fire safety in the home should be something people think about all-year round.
“But homes are more vulnerable to fire risks at Christmas for many reasons, including unsafe electrical decorations, unattended candles or candles which have been put too close to furnishings, or people cooking while under the influence of alcohol.
“If people haven’t already done so, they should check to make sure their smoke alarms are in full working order.
“Anyone having guests stay over should also make sure they know how to escape if a fire does break out.”
The advice comes as firefighters prepare to take part in more strike action starting tomorrow, between 7pm and midnight.
It will be followed by more industrial action on Tuesday, December 31, between 6.30pm and 12.30am on Wednesday, January 1, and on Friday, January 3, between 6.30am until 8.30am.
The action is part of its dispute with the Government over pensions.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will be providing a limited response service during the three periods of industrial action.
For more information on how to stay safe from fire go to www.twfire.gov.uk.
Fire safety information is also available from local community fire stations or from.facebook.com/twfrs, www.twitter.com/tyne_wear_frs.