Summer fire safety campaign

Kitchen fires can be devastating. This was the result of a fire in one Telford home.

A massive summer fire safety campaign is being launched in Shropshire to reduce the number of accidental fires which traditionally increase during the school holidays.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Safety in the Home team is spearheading a public awareness campaign so that people know how to prevent fires from starting.

The kitchen has been identified as the most dangerous room in the home with 146 cooking fires reported in county homes in one year from April 2012 to 2013.

“Traditionally there has been a trend in Shropshire for an increase in accidental fires during the children’s summer vacation mostly in July at the start of the school holidays,” said the brigade’s team leader Rabinder Dhami.

The seven week campaign will be launched at Oswestry Food and Drink Festival on July 13 when firefighters and fire and rescue service personnel will be talking to festival goers about fire safety and handing out leaflets.

Throughout the campaign, firefighters will be at Asda stores in both Donnington, Telford, and Shrewsbury along with the brigade’s Outreach vehicle which features fire prevention education and broadcasts fire safety messages.

Shoppers attending market days in Ludlow, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Bridgnorth, will also receive the fire safety information.

Summer fetes and shows including Shrewsbury Flower Show and Burwarton Show are also being targeted as well as local community centres to get the fire safety message across to as many members of the public as possible, said Rabinder.

But it is not just house fires which cause death and injuries. Last year a teenage girl tragically died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Shropshire during a family holiday as a result of the fumes from a barbecue which had been brought into the tent to keep the family warm.

As a result Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, in partnership with Shropshire Council, have launched a carbon monoxide awareness campaign targeting more than 100 county campsites with information for campers.

Safety tips in the kitchen are:

  • Do not leave pans unattended. If a pan does catch fire don’t throw water on it as it makes the fire more fierce. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so.
  • Drinking alcohol and cooking don’t mix. They can and do lead to disaster.
  • Always use a thermostatically controlled chip pan and never overfill with oil. They should be no more than one-third full.
  • Grease and fat set on fire easily, so make sure your cooker and pans are clean.
  • Remember to close doors and call 999.
  • Make sure you and your family have a fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

10th July, 2013