Christmas and New Year

On this page you will find some useful tips and advice to help you celebrate Christmas and New Year safely. You can also view and download the full Celebrate Safely leaflet here.

At home

Keeping warm and safe

  • Make sure all heating appliances and boilers are serviced before use. If any device is smoking or has weak yellow flames, don’t use it. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer – purchase a carbon monoxide detector
  • Ensure chimneys are swept before using open fires and check log burning flues are free from tar build up
  • Always use an adequate fire guard and don’t stand things close to an open fire
  • Be careful charging devices such as mobile phones and e-cigarettes. Only use recommended chargers and don’t leave them plugged in overnight
Visit the staying safe and warm page for more in depth information.


  • Avoid drinking alcohol or getting distracted whilst cooking
  • Never leave your cooking unattended with the heat switched on
Visit the cooking page for more in depth information.

Candles, decorative lights and fireworks

  • Keep candles away from things that might catch fire, like Christmas trees, greeting cards, ribbons and other decorations
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night
  • Unplug fairy lights when you leave the house or go to bed
  • Don’t let lights touch anything that can burn easily, such as paper or fabrics
  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 (this is the British Standard that all fireworks should meet)
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you’re setting off fireworks


Batteries can ignite at waste management facilities and put staff at risk when they are not recycled correctly.

Follow these tips:

  • Never put batteries in your general waste or recycling bins.
  • Only recycle batteries using a proper battery recycling service, such as at your local recycling and household waste site, or battery collection point often found in supermarkets.
  • Remove batteries from broken devices if you can and recycle both the battery and the device separately.
  • If you’re unable to remove the battery, recycle it together with your old electricals.

Visit the Less Waste website to find out more about the dangers of zombie batteries and how you can recycle them responsibly. You can also visit the How do I dispose of guide to find out how to recycle, reuse or dispose of an item.

Out and about Driving

If you are driving, don’t put your life or other people’s lives at risk! Avoid The Fatal Four:

  • Drink and drugs: alcohol and drugs can impair your driving, so never drink or take drugs and drive
  • Mobile phones: your reaction times are reduced if you use a mobile phone while driving. Switch it off before you drive
  • Speeding: just a few extra mph can make all the difference to your reaction and braking distances so slow down!
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: no matter how short your journey, always wear a seatbelt. Doing so cuts the chance of being killed in a crash by up to 50%
Visit the The Fatal Four page for more in depth information.


  • When you go out lock doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a short time
  • Don’t leave the packaging from expensive items outside your house – take it to be recycled or put them in the bin

Protect yourself

  • Be aware of what is happening around you and trust your instincts
  • If you have been drinking, avoid walking home alone
  • If you feel unsafe, change direction and go somewhere you are more visible to other people
  • Be discreet with your valuables


If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood call the police on 101 to report it.