A LIST of safety tips has been produced to help people keep themselves safe from fire in the home during the wintry weather.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) says practical plans are in place to ensure its firefighters can provide a 999 response when needed.

And the list of tips is an extra safety measure.

KFRS director of service delivery Steve Griffiths said: “We would like to reassure people that we have put in place practical plans to ensure the service is prepared during this period of cold weather and snow, and that our staff are working really hard to ensure fire stations are ready to provide a 999 response when needed.

“Even so, it may take us slightly longer to reach people when they call is in an emergency, due to the weather conditions.

“We are asking the public to help us by only calling if they really need us, to avoid making journeys on the roads in these treacherous conditions and to follow the safety tips below to keep themselves safe from fire in the home.”

The safety tips

1. If you plan on using an open fire, make sure your chimney has been recently swept as build-ups of soot and ash can cause chimney fires.

2. When going to bed, make absolutely certain that any open fire is either out, or pushed back into the grate and a guard used to prevent sparks setting light to carpets or furniture.

3. Interior doors should always be closed when going to bed as they can dramatically reduce the spread of fire.

4. Portable heaters should be dust-free and kept well away from anything that could catch fire.

5. Candles should always be placed on a non flammable surface, be away from soft furnishing like curtains and never be left unattended. It is far safer to consider using torches instead of candles.

6. Make sure you fit, and regularly test, a smoke alarm. It is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home.

Go to kent.fire-uk.org for more fire safety information.