By Darren Munro, Merton Fire Brigade Borough Commander

As the new London Fire Brigade Borough Commander for the Merton I would like to wish all our residents a happy and safe holiday.

I'm keen to continue the excellent community safety work put in place by Jane Philpott and I want to continue to bring down accidental house fires.

In the run up to Christmas, many people will be out drinking more than they usually would, whether it’s at the work Christmas do or catching up with friends.

Too many fires start when someone has passed out, leaving a pizza in the oven or a pan on the hob and it can be fatal.

If people are planning a big night out, they should plan on having a takeaway on the way home.

Our message is simple, if you’ve had too much to drink, don’t go home thinking you’re a MasterChef.

Alongside our targeted campaign I would ask everyone to think about using electrical goods safely ensuring sockets are not over loaded and if you are using candles please do so carefully and never leave unattended.

Firefighters offer a free home fire safety visit in which local fire crews will visit your home, give safety advice and even provide and fit a smoke alarm if required.

I urge anyone who has not arranged one of these visits to do so, evidence proves these visits save lives so what better present to get your family.

If you want to find out more about home fire safety visits please go to or visit your fire station where the staff there will be happy to help you.

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