With temperatures set to drop into minus degrees later this week and into the weekend, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to consider fire safety when trying to keep warm.
"In particular at this time of the year, it’s really important to consider the elderly, who are often more likely to feel the cold."
Risk Reduction Manager, Graham Mills
The Service has already attended a number of incidents caused by heating appliances, open fires and chimneys over the past few months and is hoping there are no repeat incidents similar to the 12 fatal fires which have happened over the last few years as a result of heating equipment.
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: “Unfortunately we have now had 12 fatal house fires since 2009 where heating equipment was being used including a fire caused by a convector fan heater and clothes catching fire from a gas and an open fire.
“We’d urge people to take extra care when using portable heaters and open or gas fires by not getting too close to them and by keeping flammable materials, such as clothes and curtains, a safe distance away. Fire guards should also always be used in front of open fires and chimneys and flues should be kept clean and well maintained.
“In particular at this time of the year, it’s really important to consider the elderly, who are often more likely to feel the cold and may be more reliant on portable heaters and open fires.
“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 by our firefighters or one of our technicians. A home fire risk check aims to reduce the risk of a fire occurring and gives you that extra piece of mind.”
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service will launched its older person’s campaign next week to raise awareness of fire safety amongst older people and those who care for them.
A Home Fire Risk Check involves Firefighters or a Service Technician visiting your home to give fire safety advice and potentially fitting equipment such as smoke alarms free of charge 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 Firefighters and Service Technicians carry an I.D card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.