London Fire Brigade

Sainsbury's Christmas advert sparks fire safety warning

13 November 2015

We’ve issued a stark warning following Sainsbury’s new Christmas advert that shows a fire in a home which appears to have no smoke alarms.

The advert centres around a family fast asleep while a cute cat called Mog inadvertently starts two fires and luckily dials 999. Sadly not everyone will have a ‘super cat’ like Mog and fire chiefs want everyone to make sure they have working alarms in their homes.

 

Smoke alarm ownership

Smoke alarm ownership has massively increased. A housing survey showed that 88 per cent of people own at least one working smoke alarm. Despite this, in London over the last five years, when there has been a fire in a home, a smoke alarm was working just 41 per cent of the time.

London Fire Brigade Director of Operations Dave Brown said:

“A working smoke alarm is your best chance of getting you and your family out of the house in the event of a fire. It’s great that the advert reminds people about the potential of a fire in their home but there are some worrying concerns about the fictional family’s fire safety.

“Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home and the safest option is to have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.

“Their tagline is Christmas is for sharing and we would like people to help us by sharing key fire safety advice.”

Christmas lights and animal fires

We’re also concerned that the family had left their Christmas lights overnight  - something the Brigade asks people to never do. Over the last five years firefighters have attended 274 fires on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Mog the cat isn’t the first animal to cause a fire in someone’s home, a boxer called Leo started a fire in Peckham earlier this year.

Sainsbury has issued a Christmas fire safety blog to help educate people at this time of year.