East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has emphasised the importance of fire safety over the Christmas period.
Mr Dickson said: “I encourage everyone who is putting up decorations to read the fire safety guidelines. It is important that we are all aware of the causes of fires in the workplace and at Christmas time, and how a fire can be prevented.
“It could be as simple as ensuring that the last person to leave the building turns off all decorative lights. Simple checks can save lives.
“Unfortunately Christmas decorations have caused a number of fires in Northern Ireland in recent years.”
The guidelines highlight many fire risks that we often overlook at this time of the year.
Candles, including incense candles, are a major cause of fire and should never be brought into the workplace. Paper decorations should be kept away from light fittings, radiators and other heaters.
It is important to make sure that Christmas trees are secure and upright and that trees, as with other decorations, do not block escape routes. Some real trees are sprayed (often with hair lacquer) to prevent the needles from falling off which poses a fire risk.
Mr Dickson added: “By checking the decorations in our home and workplace, we can make sure that everyone has a safe and merry Christmas.”