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Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is committed to working towards making Norfolk safer

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There's always plenty going on at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. From our interactive Crucial Crew for youngsters to the Norfolk Show, from station open days to safety initiatives there is a great deal to discover behind the blue lights.

Nigel Williams' perfect summer read recommendation (Summer Reading Challenge)

All this week, the County Council and the library service are promoting the Summer Reading Challenge on social media - and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are getting involved.

We want the whole of Norfolk to get behind the challenge and encourage children to read for fun over the summer. All week, Norfolk County Council will be posting children's book recommendations from county councillors and libraries staff from the County Council's twitter and libraries' Twitter and Facebook accounts, and will be encouraging other people to do the same using their own social media accounts.  If you have a social media account we'd love you to get involved and tweet a children's book recommendation using the #passabook hashtag.

NFRS is getting involved by getting pictures of staff from around the Service, promoting their favourite books and posting it here, as well as on our facebook and twitter

Our first recommendation is from Nigel Williams, Chief Fire Officer.

Nigel Williams, CFO, recommends Stig of the Dump as a perfect summer readThis is what Nigel had to say about his favourite childhood book - Stig of the Dump by Clive King.

"This is a magical story of a young boy called Barney looking for an adventure.  When Barney escapes local bullies, The Snarget brothers, his escape causes him to fall in a disused quarry used as a dump.  This is where his adventure begins!  He meets up with a young caveman who he calls Stig.

Barney and Stig are unable to talk to each other as they speak different languages, yet despite their differences in time, in language, in everything about their lives, their sense of adventure brings them together and sparks a series of exciting events that bind them together in a life long friendship.

Even as a child this book really highlighted to me that even with differences between people strong bonds can be formed and we can live and learn together.  This book is a perfect summer read for any kid as hopefully it will encourage them to get outside and have some adventures!  When I was growing up all we wanted was a long summer full of outdoor adventures."

 

If you are, like Nigel, inspired to get outside and have some fun after reading Stig of the Dump here are some safety tips and ideas for you and your family, to make sure you stay safe whilst having fun!

Keep an eye out for more recommendations from members of our Service later in the week! 

Firefighters urge caution to prevent wildfires this summer

Firefighters urge caution to prevent wildfires this summer

Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats across the UK and although some are started deliberately most of them are due to carelessness.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service attend an average of 225 fires per year in woodland, heath land, fields etc. Dry weather has a significant impact on the likelihood, severity and spread of these fires.

In recent years there have been six incidents of this type requiring in excess of ten fire appliances to attend. Two of these incidents lasted for over two days. Last year a fire in woodland at Fritton utilised sixty fire engines and special appliances over two days.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are reminding everyone to take particular care not only during this current dry spell but throughout the year to help reduce the unnecessary attendance of the Service at preventable fires which can quickly become large and protracted incidents given the current weather conditions.

Stuart Horth, Head of Community Safety at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “For the last couple of weeks we have experienced some hot and dry weather and it is only natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends but it is also important to stay fire-aware when out and about.

“Even when we have some rain the countryside can still have an increased risk of fire and with more dry weather forecast, we are asking the public to be vigilant and by following these few simple steps we can all help to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside.”

Staying Safe Do’s & Don’ts:

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly, don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows – take your litter home. 
  • Avoid open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas. 
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service. Early detection can prevent it from developing into a large wildfire incident. 
  • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible. 
  • Landowners and Land Managers are also advised, where possible, to ensure that fire breaks are cut and well maintained with any cut grasses and vegetation removed from the site.

We are also warning people to be extra cautious when lighting barbeques and bonfires during the dry spell.

If you must have an open fire:

  • Only use barbeques in suitable and safe area; never leave them unattended. 
  • Never use petrol, it can ignite quickly and soon get out of control. Only use approved lighting fuels. 
  • Make sure it is downwind and at least 10 metres away from any buildings or structures. 
  • Clear dry vegetation, such as leaves, to form a circle of earth around the fire. 
  • Never leave fires unattended and make sure they are fully extinguished after use.

Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: "We have enjoyed some warm, sunny weather in Norfolk in recent weeks but that brings a higher risk of wild fires, which are not only dangerous but potentially a huge draw on resources. So while they enjoy our great outdoors this summer, I would ask people to follow the practical advice being provided by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to prevent unnecessary fires in the countryside."

Outdoor fire safety reminder from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

As part of the July Fire Kills campaign, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to stay safe this summer by barbecuing safely, avoiding a fire when boating, and to camp safely.

Cosy but Deadly

Fire Kills’ top tips for camping safely:

Tents

  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading 
  • Never use candles in or near a tent. 
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass. 
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll. 
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.

Caravans

  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan. 
  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended. 
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed. 
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or topple over – never smoke in bed. 
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove. 
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading. 
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build up of poisonous gases.

Open Fires

If you must have an open fire:

  • It should be downwind, at least 10m from the tent. 
  • Clear dry vegetation, leaves, etc. to form a circle of earth around the fire. 
  • Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning. 
  • Do not leave fires unattended. 
  • Make sure fires are fully extinguished after use.

Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said: "Summer brings warmer weather and lighter evenings but also seasonal risks like BBQ related fires and swimming hazards. So while people enjoy themselves on holiday or in time spent with family and friends this summer, it is worth heeding the simple safety messages found in the ‘Fire Kills’ tips."

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is also asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues.

Doug Underwood, Community Safety Team Manager at the Service, said: “We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand. By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. But, please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“If you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. In recent years, some people have sadly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”

Last year in the UK, there were 50 deaths from Carbon Monoxide poisoning and 4,000 hospital admissions.

By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event:

  • Never leave a barbecue unattended. 
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. 
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste. 
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more. 
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area. 
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. 
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is also reminding sailing enthusiasts in the county to take care while on the water this summer.

“The number of boat fires on our coastal and inland waters is relatively low.” said Doug Underwood. “But when they do occur, they quite often have devastating consequences.”

“The remote location of most moorings means that fire and rescue services can find it hard to get close to boating incidents. And on many occasions, this delay can result in the total destruction of the boat and surrounding property.”

For more information on outdoor summer safety please visit www.facebook.com/firekills

Crucial Crew to help school children in South Norfolk learn about safety

Almost 1,000 local school children will be learning vital safety tips at the next Crucial Crew event organised by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Crucial Crew LogoThe multi-agency safety education event will take place at Easton College between Monday 7 and Friday 11 July. It is the 12th year a South Norfolk Crucial Crew has been held and the third event to take place in Norfolk so far this year.

In total, 979 Year 6 children from 44 schools in the South Norfolk area will attend the week-long event which is the 44th since it was started.

Following next week’s event, 37,125 young people will have attended Crucial Crew since its inception.

Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of the Communities Committee at Norfolk County Council said: “The Crucial Crew events are a fantastic way to give young people in the county useful safety tips. Over the years thousands of children will have benefitted from this initiative so well done to the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the other organisations that have provided invaluable safety advice on a range of topics."

Doug Underwood, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Co-ordinator and Community Safety Team Manager said: “Crucial Crew relies heavily on sponsorship so thanks go to all of those who help support the event which includes South Norfolk District Council as well as Easton College for allowing us to use their venue. Thanks needs to go to Dow Chemicals of King’s Lynn who have kindly sponsored the goody bags and certificates which will be given to the children.

“I would also like to thank Wymondham Rotary Club, Watton Rotary Club, Dereham Rotary Club and Diss Rotary Club for their continued support and help. Thanks to the Community Volunteers for help with filling 'Goody Bags'.

“The children learn life long messages and tell their families and friends. It has a huge impact on safety here in Norfolk. Finally, I would like to thank Fay Richardson (Community Safety Advisor) for all of her hard work in arranging the South Norfolk event.”

The agencies taking part and the scenarios are as follows:

  • UK Power Networks – Electrical Safety 
  • HM Coastguard – Water Safety 
  • St. John Ambulance – First Aid 
  • The Matthew Project – Alcohol and Smoking Awareness 
  • Norfolk Constabulary – Personal Safety 
  • Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service – Fire Safety in the Home 
  • Youth Offending Team – Anti-Bullying 
  • Norfolk County Council Resilience Team – Emergency Planning and Flooding Safety 
  • The Jigsaw Project – Internet Safety 
  • National Grid – Gas Safety 

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