how to prevent house fires at christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year when the family gets together, but unfortunately, it's also a time where we see an increased risk of fires in the home. With Christmas lights hung from the tree, a cosy fire in the hearth and a Christmas dinner cooking in the kitchen, there are a lot of opportunities for an accidental fire to start... especially if you've had a few drinks! Here are some harrowing statistics from the National Accident Helpline that put things into perspective:

  • More than 500,000 people have had a fire-related accident in the home
  • Roughly 1,000 people are injured by their Christmas tree every year
  • Christmas tree lights injure nearly 350 people annually
  • 50% of fire-related deaths occur over Christmas
  • 16.7% of fire deaths in 2010 occurred in December
  • 26 people died between 1997 and 2010 in the UK of electrocution while watering their Christmas tree with the lights on

As you can see, there is a real risk of house fires during the Christmas period, so it's important that you take precautions to keep your family safe. Here are a few things you can do to prevent a house fire in your home this Christmas.

1. Switch unattended Christmas lights off

2. Don't use Christmas lights with frayed or damaged cables

3. Move candles away from the Christmas tree, presents, wrapping paper & soft furnishings

4. Keep an eye on children, especially if they're near the fire, candles or the Christmas tree

5. Never hang decorations off lights, radiators or other heat sources

6. Don't be tempted to overload electrical sockets

7. Check that the cooker is switched off after you cook your Christmas dinner


Most importantly, ensure your fire alarm is working!

If there's one thing you take away from this blog, we implore you to check that your fire alarm is working this Christmas period. Your fire alarm should be checked year-round to ensure it's operating properly, otherwise, you could find yourself in a sticky situation if a fire occurred.

If you don't already have a fire alarm system in your home, we can help you. We build, install and maintain fire alarm systems in both residential and commercial properties. Find out more about our fire alarms below.

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Read More: Fire Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vulnerable people who live alone might be keen to install a medical emergency alarm in their homes. These can produce people with the reassurance that they can call for help should the worst happen. Some alarm systems are operated by the person in distress, while other (more sophisticated) medical emergency alarms can be triggered automatically if certain situations occur. Let's take a closer look at some of the different medical emergency alarms.

Patient-triggered medical emergency alarms

There are a number of patient-triggered medical emergency alarms that can be used to call for help when an accident happens. In general, these come in two different forms, either:

  • A device that's worn by the patient, eg. a bracelet, that can be activated in an emergency
  • A button or cord somewhere in the home that can be pulled/pushed in an emergency

When activated these medical emergency alarms will make a loud noise to alert people nearby, or they'll send a notification to a carer or family member so they can take appropriate action. While these medical emergency alarms are great for occasional accidents, they're not ideal if the vulnerable person can't activate the alarm - for example, if they're having a fit or have become unconscious. There are some other medical emergency alarms that are more appropriate for these scenarios.


Automatically-triggered medical emergency alarms

For scenarios where a person is unable to activate an alarm themselves, there are a number of medical emergency alarm options that can be used to keep them safe. There are also a number of home security systems that can be used to keep an eye on vulnerable people remotely. These are ideal if you need to go to work but worry about leaving an elderly relative on their own, for example. Let's dive into a few popular options.


Intercom systems

Installing an intercom system in a vulnerable person's home is a great way to keep an eye on visitors. Should someone suspicious knock on the door, the vulnerable person can take a look at deciding whether or not to let them in, without having to move from their chair or bed. In addition, family members and carers can access the intercom system to help keep the person safe when strangers come to visit. This can be especially useful for people with dementia or other memory problems who might have trouble deciding who is a friend and who is a foe.


CCTV Systems

CCTV systems can be installed in a vulnerable person's home to help family members and carers check on them in case of an emergency. Many CCTV systems can be accessed remotely from a mobile phone anywhere in the world, so if your mother has a fall in Manchester, you should be able to keep an eye on her and phone the relevant emergency services (or alert her carer) from the other side of the world!

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You can install sensors around the house that will automatically alert if something unusual or dangerous happenss. Scenarios that might trigger the sensors  include:

  • Areas that are abnormally hot or cold 
  • An oven, or fire that's been left on
  • A prolonged period where there's no movement in the house
  • A fall out of bed, out of the bath or off a chair
  • A door opening (eg. the front door) when it shouldn't


Monitored alarm systems

There are a lot of home security systems that can be linked to a maintenance package. This means there's always someone on hand 24 hours a day if a medical emergency should occur. Here at IDS Security, we offer a wide range of monitored security alarm systems, some of which are linked to BT Redcare - a service that contacts the relevant emergency services when an alarm is activated. We find that vulnerable people, homeowners and business owners can benefit from monitored alarms. 

Read More: Monitored Alarm Systems from IDS Security


If you're thinking of installing a medical emergency alarm in your property, or the property of someone you care for, we'd love to help. Here at IDS security, we have years of experience creating bespoke security systems that cater to a variety of concerns - including medical emergencies. 

Contact Us to Find Out More >

commercial CCTV systems

Commercial properties like offices and shops are popular targets for burglars because they often contain a lot of expensive items. From computers to clothing and jewellery, burglars can make a quick grab for a few items in commercial spaces and walk away with thousands of pounds worth of loot. Because commercial properties are so vulnerable, it's paramount that you install a security system and CCTV cameras. These devices can help catch perpetrators in the act (if the worst should happen) but more often than not, they prevent burglary attempts altogether. 

How can you benefit from a commercial CCTV system?

If you're not 100% sold on the idea of installing CCTV at your commercial property, perhaps we can change your mind by explaining the different benefits of commercial CCTV systems. Commercial CCTV systems:

  • Deter criminals
  • Protect customers and employees
  • Protect members of the public outside your premises

Many criminals will see that a commercial property has a CCTV system in place and will target somewhere more vulnerable instead. After all, why would they risk getting caught if there's an easier option elsewhere? If a break-in does occur, CCTV cameras will capture the incident and the faces of the criminals. This can be especially helpful evidence to have on hand when you're trying to pursue your case with the police. 

Read More: Can CCTV Footage Be Used as Evidence?

How can IDS Security help me?

Here at IDS Security, we've been installing commercial security systems for years. We understand that every commercial property is different, so rather than supplying a one size fits all solution, we tailor each CCTV system to suit you. You can combine a commercial CCTV system with a range of other systems to provide complete security for your business. Here are a few other systems we supply:

To start your commercial security journey, get in touch with IDS Security now! You can call us on 029 20 753 251, email us at or submit an enquiry form here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Commercial Security Systems >            CCTV Systems >

 Read More:

- CCTV Systems for Small Businesses

- Where's the Best Place to Put CCTV Cameras?

- Solar Powered CCTV Systems

do burglaries increase at christmas

While Christmas is supposed to be a time of festivities and cheer, it's unfortunate to learn that Christmas burglaries peak at this time of year. The beginning of the month, specifically between the 5th and 18th of December is the most vulnerable period for Christmas crime and break-ins.

During this period people start their Christmas shopping, so there are a number of valuable items in their homes that wouldn't normally be there. From expensive trainers to PlayStations and perfumes, burglars can grab a number of valuable items in a short space of time if they gain access to your Christmas stash! 

The kids might believe that all the presents are being made in the north pole, the reality is, most presents are hidden in and around the house. In addition, the dark winter nights provide ample cover for criminals to sneak around your house undetected. When the sun goes down (around 4:30 pm) most people are still at work, so it's no surprise that this is the time your home is most vulnerable to burglars.

How to minimise the risk of a Christmas break-in:

If you'd like to reduce the risk of crime at Christmas, follow the handy tips below...

  • Avoid putting presents under the tree ahead of time, especially if your tree is in front of your window.
  • Don't hide presents in obvious places eg. under the bed. If your kids can find them, so can a burglar.
  • Be careful how you dispose of packaging, the Harrods box in the bin could indicate there are expensive gifts in the house.
  • Don't 'check-in' or make your whereabouts known on social media. This tells burglars your house is unoccupied.
  • Don't turn all the lights off when you go out for the day/night, this could also indicate that you're out of the house.
  • Don't leave presents in your car on the driveway, even if this is the only way your husband won't see them.
  • Store high-value items like jewellery in a safe until Christmas day


Investing in better home security

Despite your best efforts to keep your home & presents safe and attempting to reduce crime at Christmas, you might find that you are still targeted by burglars. Alongside the steps we've outlined above, we'd highly recommend improving your home security system. A good home security system will not only protect you during Christmas, but it will also keep your family safe all year round!

What home security systems do we offer? Here at IDS Security, we understand that every home is different, that's why we tailor each home security system to suit your needs. Some key elements of our home security systems include:

  • Burglar alarms
  • Security cameras
  • Door entry systems 
  • Fire alarms

According to various Christmas crime statistics, burglaries and crime are on the rise this month - but there's no need to worry. Our team of experts are waiting to hear from you. They'll talk through your requirements and help make sure we supply the best home security system for you, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the festive period.

Request a FREE Home Security System Quote >

Read More: Christmas Home Security

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