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Fire service issues home safety advice

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is asking everyone to be extra careful, to avoid fires happening in the first place.

HWFRS is calling for people to think about basic fire safety in the home and to take action and avoid becoming a further casualty for the NHS.

Group Commander George Marshall said: “We know that there are large numbers of people at home now due to the pandemic and whether they are self-isolating, working from home or looking after children, we want to encourage people to think about basic fire safety in the home. We want to ensure that everyone is taking the right steps to ensure they are safe from fire.”

He continued: “Working smoke alarms save lives. The majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, but do you know if they are working? We want people to test the alarms on a weekly basis. We are spending more time at home now, so there is no excuse to not have working smoke alarms and to not be testing them regularly.”

HWFRS has urged people to take note of the following vital safety advice:

  • Smoke alarms save lives but only if they’re working and in the right place. You should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials. NEVER use heaters to dry clothes. ALWAYS switch off and unplug your heaters before going to bed.
  • If you smoke, use a proper ashtray and make sure it is placed on a level surface away from combustible materials. Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished. Don’t smoke in bed – you could easily fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and cause a fire.
  • Keep candles and tea lights away from anything that can catch fire. NEVER leave lit candles unattended – make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make it a priority to keep cooking areas clear and clean from combustible materials. Make sure your oven and grill are clean – a build-up of fat or grease can cause a fire. DON’T leave pans unattended while cooking and NEVER leave children or pets unattended in the kitchen.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows how to get out in the event of a fire. Ensure your escape routes are clear from any clutter. Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place.

IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY. In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

Finally, Group Commander Marshall added: “This is all about basic fire safety awareness and the checks we are advising will help to keep you and your family safe. If you require any fire safety advice, then call the Community Risk Team on 0800 032 1155..

Further safety advice can be found at www.hwfire.org.uk

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