Rockhampton firefighters work to extinguish a house fire.
Rockhampton firefighters work to extinguish a house fire. Chris Ison

Christmas fire safety message

QUEENSLAND Fire and Emergency Services are urging all people to put safety first over the Christmas and New Year break.

QFES Brisbane Region Acting Assistant Commissioner John Watson urged all Queenslanders today to be fire safe over the holidays, especially when using candles, matches and lighters or lighting a barbecue or campfire.

"Never, under any circumstances, leave a fire unattended or leave children or pets unsupervised near an open fire," he said.

"Campfires should only be lit in an open and safe area, contained in a fire pit and be less than one metre square in size and you should always extinguish a campfire with water and never with dirt or sand.

"Before lighting up the barbecue for Christmas lunch remember to test your gas cylinders and barbecue hoses and valves.

"It is also important to take the time to make sure that all electrical appliances that get a lot of use during summer like fans, air conditioners and Christmas lights are in good working condition and checked by a qualified electrician."

Mr Watson said there were two steps that would increase all Queenslanders' chances of survival during a house fire.

"Step one is to have a working smoke alarm to wake you up and step two is to have a fire escape plan to get you out," he said.

"A house can become well involved with smoke and fire within a few minutes and every second counts when exiting your home."

If a house fire does occur residents are urged to leave immediately and call 000 from a safe place.