As the cold spell continues Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to consider fire safety when trying to keep warm.
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.
In the first week of the year the Service has already attended a number of incidents caused by heating appliances, open fires and chimneys. The Service is hoping there is not a repeat of last January when there were four fatal house fires in just four weeks – three of these incidents were caused by open fires.
Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss said: "Unfortunately we’ve already had one fatal house fire this year, believed to have been caused by a convector fan heater. 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 we’d urge you to get in touch on our FREEPHONE number 0800 0241 999, so we can arrange a visit by our firefighters or one of our technicians. A home fire risk check reduces the risk of a fire occurring and gives you that extra piece of mind.”
A home fire risk check involves Firefighters or a Service Technician 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 Firefighters and Service Technicians carry an I.D card and will travel in Service vehicles. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.