Santa's sleigh heads out across Tyne and Wear to teach families about the importance of smoke alarms

It's a Christmas gift with a difference - and one which could save your life.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 15:21 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 13:43 pm

December 25 is just around the corner - and before the big day hits, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are reminding families of the importance of having a working smoke alarm.

Santa has given his backing to the service's ongoing campaign, by pledging to deliver smoke alarms across the area with the help of his "elves".

Santa is almost ready to start his present deliveries for another year.

After checking his naughty and nice list, he gets on the road.

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With a group of helpful fire cadets in tow, the service has captured festive footage of Santa getting out and about in his special fire engine, adorned with lights, making life-saving deliveries across Tyne and Wear.

Lynsey McVey, TWFRS Area Manager for Community Safety, said: “It’s only natural that Santa would place those without a smoke alarm on his naughty list. But instead of receiving pieces of coal, our Santa gives them a helping hand by adding a smoke alarm to their Christmas stockings.

“Tragically we have recently attended house fires where the occupants had died. Not having a working smoke alarm was a factor in these deaths.

And his helpers are ready to go!

"In the last 12 months we attended 107 dwelling fires where the property didn’t have a smoke alarm and 159 dwelling fires where a smoke alarm was fitted but did not activate.

"That’s a worrying set of numbers.”

Residents living across Tyne and Wear are being encouraged to check the fire service's website to find useful information about staying safe at home, and how to book a safety check.

Lynsey added: "We hope this film will remind residents that their safety and that of their loved ones, should always be top of their list for Santa.”

Finding a smoke alarm in your stocking would be a special gift indeed.