Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas fire risk alert issued

A warning has been issued to people about the fire risk of candles and overloaded plug sockets at Christmas.

London Fire Brigade said electrical problems and candles lead to more house fires in in the city in December than in any other month.

Andy Hickmott, brigade assistant commissioner, said: "We want everyone to have a happy Christmas, but would like to remind people to be careful."

The campaign coincides with the launch of new fire safety posters.

Mr Hickmott said: "It's tempting to plug several sets of fairy lights and other electrical equipment into one socket, but I'd really advise against that.

"Sockets can quickly overheat and this can lead to serious fires.

"[And] quite simply, candles left unattended can be a disaster waiting to happen, especially if you leave them near to flammable items, like curtains or even Christmas trees."

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