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Four million Brits head abroad amid travel disruption

Around four million Britons will be heading overseas for the Christmas break, with those staying behind in London and the South East having to contend with packed roads and disrupted rail services.

Queues in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport as people leave early for their Christmas holidays. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The peak days for those flying off to foreign climes are expected to be December 20-22, said travel organisation Abta.

It added that the most -popular destinations for sun lovers were the Canary Islands, Tunisia, Morocco and the Cape Verde Islands off western Africa.

Firefighters warn public not to lose keys over Christmas

London Fire Brigade is today warning Christmas party goers not to lose their keys and end up locked out of their homes over the festive period.

London fire crews have attended more than 28,000 'locked out' calls since April 2009.

Third Officer Dave Brown said: "Getting locked out can be a real pain, but you should not dial 999 unless there is a real emergency. We're urging everyone to take care with their keys and this is something we're particularly concerned about with the Christmas party season upon us.

"If you're planning on having a few Christmas sherries, we' d urge you to leave a key with a friend or neighbour, rather than risk calling 999 and wasting emergency service time.

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Public warned against misusing 999 number this Christmas

The Metropolitan Police Service is urging members of the public to use the 999 emergency number sensibly over Christmas, traditionally their busiest time of the year.

To encourage people to use the number sensibly, they will be releasing four calls made over the last year which did not require a police response, including a report of a dead squirrel

The Met received 25,749 so-called 'nuisance calls' last year and have received 18,333 nuisance calls so far this year.

Fire Brigade: Get a takeaway when we strike

. Credit: Press Association

London Fire Brigade is asking people to get a takeaway rather than cooking whilst drunk this Friday and Saturday night as the Fire Brigades Union is on strike.

The service says young, well-educated, professionals cause more than a quarter of all accidental house fires in the capital, often by attempting to cook at home when drunk. This greatly increases the risk of someone having a serious fire which could destroy their home or, even worse, kill them

Brigade figures show:

• Two fires a day happen after Londoners have been drinking.

• One in four people who die in a fire has alcohol in their system.

• Three quarters of alcohol related fires are caused by cooking under the influence.

• Over half of these fires happen because someone has fallen asleep.

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