Firefighters are warning residents to be careful with Christmas tree lights after a Sheerness family had a lucky escape at the weekend.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service received a call at 7.30pm on Saturday to Trinity Road after the householder reported a small blaze.
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One fire engine was sent to the three storey townhouse after some clothes caught alight near to the Christmas tree lights.
Sheppey Crew Manager Paul Ross said: "These had started to smoulder before catching light. Fortunately the family, who were on another floor of the house, were alerted by a smoke alarm and found the small fire when they went to investigate.
"The mum stamped on the clothes and threw them outside but clearly this could have been very serious if the fire had developed any further before the family became aware of it and it's a timely reminder to everyone to make sure Christmas tree lights are kept away from anything that can burn easily such as fabric and paper."
Crews fitted another smoke alarm in the lounge of the property before giving home safety advice to the family and visiting neighbouring properties. They also warn residents to keep doors closed at night as this could contain a fire and allow extra time to escape.
Fairy lights and Christmas tree lights don't get used very often, so you should make sure they are in good working order before using them:
Check that lights aren't damaged or broken and look out for loose or worn wires
Check that the fuse in the plug is the right size – the lights' packaging should tell you the maximum size of fuse you should use
Don't overload sockets
Replace any bulbs that blow
Switch the lights off when you go to bed or leave the house
Don't let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper or fabrics and other Christmas tree decorations
If you are unsure about the safety of last year's Christmas lights, don't use them
You can read more tips on seasonal electrical safety on the Electrical Safety Council
For fire safety tips and a video, go to Kent Fire and Rescue Service website
or ring it for home fire safety advice on 0800 923 7000.
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