Posted: Wednesday 5 October 2022, 08:00
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is urging people to stay safe and protect themselves this winter as they look to keep warm and cut energy use.
The call follows concerns from the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) that the rise in living costs could push people into using alternative ways of heating and lighting their homes.
As winter approaches, DFRS is supporting NFCC’s Stay Fire Safe campaign and is providing advice to help minimise the risk of accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prevention and Inclusion Group Manager David Diggins said: “As we all look at ways of saving money due to the rise in the cost of living, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service wants to ensure people don’t put themselves or their loved ones at risk of fire this winter.
“Starting today, the Service will be providing fire prevention information specific to heating and lighting as part of the Stay Fire Safe campaign. Information and top tips for fire prevention will be posted on the Services website and across social media channels.
“I’d encourage everyone to take a few minutes to read our fire prevention advice and also take the time to complete a DIY home fire safety check.”
Home Fire Safety Check: As part of the campaign, DFRS is encouraging people to complete an online home fire safety check for themselves and their loved ones in preparation for the cold weather.
By answering a few simple questions, you will get fire safety advice specific to your household as well as tips to keep you and your family safe.
Fitting/Testing Smoke Alarms: Only working smoke alarms can give you and your family early warning of a fire in the home, allowing everyone the time to get out, stay out and call 999.
Ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted; at least one on each level of the home, and ensure you test them weekly to ensure they are working.
Escape Routes: Have an escape plan that everyone in your home is aware of. Ensure escape routes are clear from clutter and other items such as portable heaters.
Heating your home: Check your heating appliances are in good working order and not subject to a product recall by checking the Office for Product Safety and Standards website for any alerts.
If possible do not skip servicing of boilers and gas appliances by a Gas Safe engineer to prevent gas leaks and CO poisoning. If you’re a homeowner check your energy provider’s website for information about their Priority Services Register – If you’re eligible they often offer a free annual gas safety check along with other support. Landlords must arrange for an annual gas safety check in rented accommodation.
Ensure you use the correct fuel for wood-burning stoves and open fires.
Only use conventional heating equipment. Do not be tempted to follow dangerous social media trends for heating or lighting your home.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms: For people who have a heating appliance that doesn’t run off electricity, we recommend installing a carbon monoxide alarm – it's the only way to detect this harmful, colourless, odourless gas which can be fatal.
Changes to regulations mean landlords are responsible for fitting smoke alarms in all homes and carbon monoxide alarms in rented accommodation where a fixed combustion heating appliance has been fitted. We advise tenants to ensure their landlord is complying to help keep them safe.
Candle Safety: More than 15,000 candle fires are reported nationally each year. We recommend people use battery powered candles and reduce the risk of a candle fire.
If you must use traditional candles ensure:
They are placed away from flammable materials such as curtains and soft furnishings.
Ensure they are on a stable, heat resistant surface
They are out of reach of children and pets.
For more information on how to #StayFireSafe follow our social channels or visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk