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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Winter Fire Safety as Temperatures Drop

24/10/2012

As the temperatures drop and the dark nights close in, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to keep safe from fire in their homes.

"If you are elderly, or know of someone elderly who hasn’t received a free home fire risk check we’d urge you to get in touch on our freephone number 0800 0241 99, so we can arrange a visit."

Head of Risk Reduction for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Glynn Luznyj

Statistics reveal more accidental house fires take place during winter than at any other time. Since 2010 nine people have died following fires in their homes involving heating devices. Six of them were elderly.

Desperate to avoid such incidents the Service wants to raise awareness of fire safety amongst Staffordshire’s residents.

Head of Risk Reduction for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Glynn Luznyj, said: “More accidental fires happen in winter than at any other time of the year. The elderly are particularly vulnerable during the colder months as they are more likely to feel the cold and so may be more reliant on portable heaters and open fires, which can present fire risks.

“If you are elderly, or know of someone elderly who hasn’t received a free home fire risk check we’d urge you to get in touch on our freephone number 0800 0241 99, so we can arrange a visit. A home fire risk check reduces the risk of a fire occurring and gives you that extra piece of mind.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service runs older persons campaign throughout the winter months to raise awareness of fire safety amongst older people and those who care for them. Posters and leaflets will be delivered to Staffordshire doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, libraries, housing associations, post offices, children’s centres and voluntary organisations

A home fire risk check involves a member of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service visiting your home to give fire safety advice and fitting equipment such as smoke alarms to ensure you are safer in your home. The freephone number to ring to request a check is 0800 0241 999 and on ringing you will be able to arrange a mutually convenient time for the visit to take place. All staff carry an I.D card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.

Tips on staying safe this winter:
Unplug your electric blanket before you get into bed – unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
Always position heaters so the back of the heater is against the wall and is facing the room.
Keep portable heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
Make sure candles are in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire such as curtains.
Put candles out when you leave the room and ensure they are completely out when going to bed.
Sweep the chimney before use if you haven’t used it for some time.
Always keep a fire guard in front of an open fire.
Push the button on your smoke alarms on a weekly basis to ensure they work