FIRE chiefs are urging Wearsiders to put safety first this Christmas.
People are being asked to follow some simple advice to help cut the risk of a fire during the festive celebrations.
Top safety tips from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service include making sure that you have a working smoke alarm, never leave cooking or candles unattended, and checking on elderly relatives and neighbours.
Fire officers are also warning smokers to ensure that all cigarettes are put out, as they are a common cause of blazes.
John Baines, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations can often push fire safety out of our minds.
“But, in reality, the start of festive celebrations brings a whole cocktail of fire risks into the home.”
“Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends, and we want to keep it that way.”
For more information on fire safety, visit website www.twfire.gov.uk/christmas.