FAMILIES were urged yesterday to take extra care as sub zero temperatures increase the risk of house fires.
Booze, along with the additional risk of Christmas tree lights and candles, could easily lead to a major blaze and a tragic death.
Fire chiefs warn that even a moderate amount of alcohol together with medication for colds and influenza can make people less alert if a blaze did erupt.
And they asked families to check that their smoke alarm is working and renew batteries if need be.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue assistant chief officer Lewis Ramsay said: “Smoke alarms are the first line of defence against a fire in the home.
“If you haven’t got one, contact your local fire station or ring Strathclyde Fire and Safety on 0800 0731 999 for a free home-fire safety visit.
“The fire service is working with council social services, the health service and voluntary groups to identify people who are particularly at risk from fire.”
He added: “We are anxious that these groups can be offered free home-fire safety advice and given free smoke alarms.
“I also ask the public to keep a friendly eye on vulnerable neighbours to check they are okay.”
Mr Ramsay, who is Director of Community Safety, went on: “I ask that when people enjoy themselves over the festive season, they should remember not to fuel fire with alcohol.”
Since the start of this year two people have died in Paisley area fires.
And, there have been a total of 36 casualties over that period.
One of the tragic deaths was in a tenement flat at King Street, Paisley, in January, when a 71-year-old pensioner died.
The other was a man who ws found dead in a burned-out car on Gleniffer Braes, above Paisley.
In the Barrhead area there were six fire casualties.