Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service report December to be the busiest month of the year for house fires. With all the Christmas lights, endless cycles of cooking and putting the dishwasher on, and electrical presents such as games consoles, there's lots of fire risks to consider.

It's important that you have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home, ideally in the hallway and at the top of the stairs.

Twinkly Christmas lights feel very festive, but make sure they're in good working order, meet British Safety Standards and were bought from reputable retailer. And always turn your them off before bed or going out!

Take extreme care with candles. They should only be used when you are in the same room and always place them in a heat-proof holder, and keep them well away from shelves, curtains, furnishings and books. The safest way to use candles is to buy battery-powered ones.

Cooking is the cause of nearly half of all domestic fires. Never leave your Christmas dinner cooking unattended and make sure you switch off the oven and hob if you’re leaving the house (this goes for all high powered appliances including dishwashers, tumble dryers and washing machines). Take care around alcohol and don’t cook if you’ve had a few too many as you're more likely to take risks, be distracted, and sometimes even fall asleep, which is a very dangerous combination with cooking!