Firefighters in East Staffordshire are shocked by an increase in the amount of accidental house fires since April this year.
"Although smoke detectors undoubtedly save lives, they don’t prevent a fire occurring in the first place. It is the homeowner taking the advice offered by the fire crews and ensuring they take the necessary precautions and actions which minimise the risk of a fire occurring."
Assistant Area Commander for East Staffordshire, Brian Griffiths
From April-June this year, crews from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a total of 26 accidental house fires, with 50% of these occurring in the month of June.
The most common cause of these fires was electrical faults, ranging from faulty appliances to misuse of appliances, closely followed by careless cooking and chip-pan fires, many of these incidents being avoidable.
Assistant Area Commander for East Staffordshire Brian Griffiths said: "Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has been working very closely with our partner agencies over a number of years to improve community safety by promoting the fire safety message to the public."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has recently launched a strategy called After The Fire, whereby following the attendance at any house fire, crews will maintain a high profile presence in the area and will be urging the public to undertake a free Home Fire Risk Check.
Crews will be in the area for a number of days following the incident, engaging with the local community and posting letters and posters highlighting the dangers and consequences of fire.
Brian Griffiths added: "This new strategy has been introduced to hopefully increase awareness of the fire safety message; however we would encourage members of the public to contact us for any advice regarding fire safety so we can hopefully reduce the number of accidental house fires."
East Staffordshire Area Command carry out over 3,000 free Home Fire Risk Checks a year in the area, which involves a short home visit from operational fire crews and technicians.
Hazards in the home will be identified and discussed to highlight how a fire may occur and if necessary, smoke detectors will be fitted in the property or existing smoke detectors will be tested.
Brian Griffiths said: "Although smoke detectors undoubtedly save lives, they don’t prevent a fire occurring in the first place. It is the homeowner taking the advice offered by the fire crews and ensuring they take the necessary precautions and actions which minimise the risk of a fire occurring."