Fire warning for South Yorkshire over festive period

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Fire service officials in South Yorkshire have warned people about the dangers of accidental house fires over the Christmas period.

Officers said that 10 people had died and more than 100 injured in December incidents since 2003.

Candles, fairy lights, dry Christmas trees and cooking all present fire hazards during the Christmas period, officers said.

They said fire was a year-round danger, but more so during festivities.

Spokesman Steve Makepeace said: "The risk of fire in the home is an all year round issue, but people are particularly vulnerable at Christmas for reasons ranging from unsafe electrical decorations and unattended candles, to cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol.

"People also vastly underestimate the deadly strength of toxic smoke and overestimate how long they have to escape should a fire break out.

"The reality is that just two to three breaths of smoke in a fire can render a person unconscious.

"Christmas should be a time for celebration rather than tragedy and for this reason I'm urging people to be fire aware and stay fire safe."

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