CHESHIRE East firefighters are warning residents about the dangers of overloading plug sockets and misusing candles over Christmas.

They have issued a set of tips and guidelines to help protect homeowners during the festive period.

The tips include checking your Christmas lights conform to the British Standard and switching off electrical appliances when not in use.

The fire service warned homeowners to never leave candles near furnishings such as curtains or furniture unattended, and keeping candles out of children’s reach.

Simon Gibbins, Cheshire East service delivery manager, said: “It’s a sad fact that people are 50 per cent more likely to die in an accidental house fire during the Christmas period than at any other time of the year.

“Therefore it’s vital that people take extra care during Christmas and new year celebrations. It’s so easy to forget amidst all the festivities that decorations, tree lights and candles all present fire risks.”

For more advice on staying safe over Christmas see