Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Be prepared - and stay safe in your home

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is urging local people to take steps to protect their loved ones from the risks of fire.

With the threat of industrial action by local firefighters on Wednesday 25th September from 12-4pm as part of a national strike over pension arrangements, GFRS will be providing an emergency response service - and is reminding residents of the importance of staying safe.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "We've put a range of measures in place to ensure that, throughout this short period of industrial unrest, we can provide a highly effective and professional fire service for the people of Gloucestershire. "

"However, during the proposed strike, there may be a slight increase in the time it takes for the fire engines to arrive. So now is the time for local people to make absolutely sure they have thought about fire safety in their home."

"Fires can start for a variety of reasons, from cooking being left unattended, to electrical faults or candles being placed too close to furnishings. The best advice we can give is for everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm in their home and to check the battery is working at least once a week."

"Smoke detectors provide an early warning of a fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night. But a smoke alarm can only save your life if it is working and the battery is checked regularly."

More than 50 per cent of fires attended by county firefighters start in the kitchen, so people are asked to take particular care when cooking.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "We want to reassure local people that the county fire and rescue service is fully prepared with plans in place to ensure communities get the protection they need."

"I must emphasise that people should still call 999 in an emergency so that an experienced control room operator can deal with their situation. As always, though, fire safety is all about prevention and it is up to families to know the risks, and know what to do should the worst happen."

For more fire safety advice and tips on how to protect your home from fire visit www.glosfire.gov.uk or contact the community safety team on 01452 753333.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Residents are being urged to remember the following important advice:

Fit a smoke alarm

If there is a fire

If your escape route is blocked

The greatest lesson is how to prevent a fire starting in the first place, so residents are encouraged to follow these simple tips:

Kitchen

Electrics

Cigarettes

Candles

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service offer free Home Fire Safety Checks and fit smoke alarms free of charge for elderly and vulnerable people in the community.

If you know someone who may benefit from this service call freephone 0800 180 41 40. Please remember you must get the permission of the nominee if you are nominating someone else for a Home Fire Safety Check.

For more information on fire safety in the home or Home Fire Safety Checks, go to www.direct.gov.uk/firekills or www.glosfire.gov.uk

Issued by: Keith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 426887

You can follow Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service on www.facebook.com/glosfire or www.twitter.com/glosfire You can also follow the Chief Fire Officer on www.twitter.com/glosfirechief

18th September 2013