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12-Jan-2015 12:46

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News Headlines...January 2015

To go straight to any of January's news click on the links below.

Test Your Smoke Alarms | Fire Service Volunteers |

Test your smoke alarms every week!

Friday 9 January

Fit smoke alarms image

With the New Year underway, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) are asking people to make a resolution in 2015 to make sure that their smoke alarms are up to date, in the right place and that they test them every week. Why not circle every Tuesday on your new calendar and make it a Test it Tuesday and tick it off when you have tested your alarms?

Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, and safety should be top of the list. So this month HWFRS are encouraging everyone to make sure they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. It only takes a few seconds and saves lives.

A smoke alarm can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. While the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years and then needs replacing.

For people who live in a multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is simply not enough. Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire. Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.

So HWFRS is asking people to make sure that their alarms are up to date and up to the job.

To keep your alarms in working order:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home;
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every week;
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old;
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms.  Also consider in rooms which have an electrical appliance, eg. a heater, or other risk;
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected.

Station Commander Alan Haley from Community Risk, HWFRS said: “At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing. A smoke alarm can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget – they don’t know if it might be coming to the end of its lifespan or not working at all.

He continued: “For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, make your New Year’s resolution to fit new ones, test them every week, why not make it on a Tuesday and protect your loved ones in 2015. “

Station Commander Haley concluded by encouraging anyone who is unsure about the smoke alarms they need to contact the Community Safety department for advice and to see if they would qualify for a free Home Fire Safety Check on 0800 032 1155. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.”

For further information on fire safety please visit or follow @HWFireSafety on Twitter.


Could you be a Fire Service Volunteer?

Wednesday 7 January

The public enjoying a fire station open day

New Year New You! Would you like to do something new and exciting in 2015?  Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) would like to hear from you!

The Service is launching a recruitment campaign for its Community Volunteer Programme, which offers the chance to make a difference within your community, to meet new people and to support a wide range of training activities.  A comprehensive training package and uniform are provided and travelling expenses will be reimbursed

The Service is urging anyone with a few hours to spare each week to consider volunteering. Becky Valender, Community Safety Advisor, HWFRS said: “Effective safety awareness can make a real difference to people’s lives. We particularly work with the elderly and with vulnerable people. It’s rewarding work and a fantastic way of getting more involved in your local community.”

Becky Valender urged anyone interested in finding out more about the role of a Volunteer with HWFRS to email or to telephone 0800 032 1155.

The closing date for applications is Friday 6 February 2014 at 5.00pm.  Interviews will take place in Herefordshire and Worcestershire at a later date.


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