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Safety at home

11 December 2013

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is warning householders to be more vigilant than normal to ensure communities stay safe during industrial action expected this weekend.

The message is especially important as many people are now preparing for Christmas and that can bring additional fire risks.

Fire Brigades Union members will be on strike between 18:00 hrs and 22:00 hrs on Friday 13 December and Saturday 14 December meaning the Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service during those times.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders said: “We always warn people to take care because it is far better to avoid problems happening in the first place. That message counts more than ever during strike periods because while we will still be responding to 999 calls, the level of service will be reduced.

“During December many people decorate their homes for the festivities and it is important that everyone remembers that can bring safety hazards.

“But the risks which apply all year round are still a threat too, so we would ask that everyone avoids being complacent and follows our safety advice.

“That should help prevent serious incidents and ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the festivities.

“One key piece of advice is always to make sure there is a working smoke alarm installed on every level of their home. They provide an early warning which gives occupants the chance to escape but may also mean a fire may be detected before it had chance to spread. There is no better time to check that smoke alarms are working than today.”

Within the last few days firefighters in Grimsby have attended a housefire where no smoke alarms were installed and the living room was badly damaged. In another recent incident, in Goole, a smoke alarm was fitted but did not activate when fire broke out. Fortunately, no-one was injured in either incident, but a smoke alarm sounding may have helped to minimise the effect of each fire.
Recommended ways to ensure fire safety in the home during the festive period include: •Make sure decorative lights have a British Safety Standard sign
•Don’t leave decorative lights on after bed time or when the home is unoccupied
•Don’t overload electrical sockets
•Keep paper or card decorations away from fireplaces
•Don’t attach decorations to light fittings or heaters
•Keep children away from candles and matches
•Make sure visitors know how to escape in an emergency

It is important that householders remember existing fire risks, however, and the following advice applies all-year-round:
•Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out.
•Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended. Make sure grill pans and oven trays are regularly cleaned.
•Do not overload electrical sockets and watch out for faulty and over-heating electrical equipment and wiring or cables.

If you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999.

For more fire safety advice and tips on how to protect your home from fire visit www.humbersidefire.gov.uk, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.gov.uk/firekills.