Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to put fire safety at the top of their Christmas list this year.

The service emphasises the importance of staying vigilant during the festive season.

A time when distractions are high and risks are amplified by fairy lights, candles, and decorations.

Its message is supported by the national fire kills campaign, prompting Cumbrians to ensure their families and loved ones are protected.

Station manager for prevention, Andrew Lowes, said: "Christmas can be the time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends and maybe even overindulging.

"But it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire."

He urges residents to use candles safely, never leave cooking unattended, and regularly test smoke alarms.

The Westmorland Gazette: Christmas is a time when distractions are high and risks are amplified by fairy lights, candles,

Winter weather conditions bring further challenges, with the need to ensure safe usage of portable heaters and open fires.

Cumbria’s deputy police, fire and crime commissioner, Mike Johnson, affirmed the importance of this message.

He said: "The festive period is a time for celebration, but it is important that we all remain vigilant to reduce the risk of fires in our homes."

The Fire and Rescue Service, along with fire kills, are issuing advice which includes important reminders such as not leaving cooking or burning candles unattended; avoiding the dangerous practice of drying clothes on heaters, not overloading sockets, ensuring that all fairy lights are switched off and unplugged when the house is empty or everyone is asleep, and having a clear, understood family escape plan in case of a fire.

Practical advice is being shared daily on the service's social media channels @CumbriaFire throughout the festive season.

Achieving a safe Christmas requires all residents to take heed of these warnings and maintain a sense of caution during the holiday period.