The fire service has warned Worcestershire residents about the dangers of lighting candles and having open fires during the winter season. 

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) and the national Fire Kills campaign are urging residents to put fire safety at the top of their lists over Christmas and New Year. 

Fire safety is vital throughout the year, but with extra distractions during the Christmas holiday and New Year celebrations, HWFRS has asked people to take extra precautions. 

Head of prevention at HWFRS, Emma Roberts, said: "The festive season can be the time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends and perhaps even overindulging. But fairy lights, candles and decorations mean it is also a time to take extra care to keep our loved ones safe from fire. 

"Ensure you place candles in suitable holders and away from cards, decorations or anything else that might catch alight. Never leave cooking unattended and test your smoke alarms. 

"The colder weather brings its own menaces so take care when using portable heaters or open fires to keep warm." 

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