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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.

Warning on e-cigarettes after fire causes widespread damage

Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards department and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are warning people who use e-cigarettes to beware after a devastating fire in Horstead was blamed on an e-cigarette that overheated while on charge.

The blaze caused widespread damage at the home of Tessa and John Musgrove on Tuesday night and has prompted a plea for e-cigarettes not to be left unattended - especially overnight.

 

Sophie Leney from Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards said: “Not only do people who purchase e-cigarettes have a part to play in ensuring they are using them safely, but the commercial premises selling these items also have a responsibility. This incident is part of ongoing work Norfolk Trading Standards is doing into the safety of such products. Our teams have and will attend Norfolk businesses in response to information we receive about e-cigarettes being sold without the correct chargers. 

“One of the main factors for e-cigarettes catching fire appears to be people using the incorrect charger such as one you would use to charge up a mobile phone. They are too powerful causing the e-cigarette to overheat which then poses a huge risk to you and your property.” 

This is the second incident of this kind reported to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service over the last few months. Karen Palframan, Brigade Manager Service Delivery, said: “People who are trying to give up smoking may see an e-cigarette as an option which is better for their health. However, we, along with Trading Standards want to make the public aware of the potential risks associated with e-cigarettes and the precautions people need to take to ensure you and your family stay safe. 

“The events could have been far worse if the family hadn’t been awake and hadn’t reacted so quickly. We are hearing from colleagues around the country who have also had to deal with electronic cigarette-related incidents so it is important for users of these devices to follow fire safety advice.”

What precautions should consumers take? 

  • Ensure that you purchase your e-cigarettes from a reputable source
  • Make sure that you follow the instructions in regard to charging of the e-cigarette
  • Do not buy an e-cigarette if it doesn’t come with instructions
  • Use the correct USB charger/USB Mains Adapter intended for that particular model of e-cigarette. Do not ever use a substitute charger
  • Do not charge more than the recommended time
  • Do not charge overnight
  • Do not leave e-cigarettes charging unattended
  • Contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 if you have any doubts about the safety of e-cigarettes being sold locally
  • Ensure you have smoke alarms in your home and that they are tested regularly
  • Make a plan of what you would do in a fire and make sure everyone in your home knows it
  • Visit www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk for further safety advice and to assess your home for fire risks

How does an e-cigarette work? 

There are two types of e-cigarette – ones with single use batteries and ones with lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable. The rechargeable e-cigarettes have a battery-operated heating coil that gently heats nicotine liquid from a cartridge, enabling the user to inhale a nicotine vapour. This is believed to be less harmful than inhaling nicotine and smoke from a traditional cigarette. 

Why can e-cigarettes pose a safety risk?
 

The heating coil is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. It is the lithium battery that may catch fire if overcharged, defective or damaged. This can lead to a cycle of heating called ‘thermal run away’ and may cause a fire. 

New King’s Lynn fire station to get Royal seal of approval

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s brand new £2m station in King’s Lynn will be officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh next month (Monday 2 February).

New Station at South Lynn


The South Lynn Fire Station on Horsley's Fields will soon be fully operational helping serve the south of the town and surrounding areas, and as a result, reduce response times for crews attending emergencies.


King’s Lynn currently has a fire station (North Lynn Fire Station) which is home to three fire appliances and a range of specialist response vehicles staffed by full time and on call firefighters. However, in recent years, risk management planning indicated that the Service could provide a more effective response to the King’s Lynn area if the fire appliances were split and placed at a new station situated in the South of the town.


The new South Lynn station has been designed to house up to three fire appliances or other emergency vehicles as well as allowing Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to accommodate other blue light partners such as the East of England Ambulance Service. The intention is to also make the building available to other public bodies including county and district council staff to allow more efficient working in the locality and reduce travelling time and cost.


On 2 February, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will be greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Mr Richard Jewson. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will then meet Nigel Williams, Chief Fire Officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, who will introduce them to some of the King’s Lynn-based firefighters, a group of young people who are undertaking a Princes Trust Programme, as well as a number of Fire Service Cadets.


Before departing, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will unveil a plaque to commemorate the official opening. Nigel Williams will then invite Her Majesty and His Royal Highness to sign a portrait for display in the station.

The new fire station has been made possible thanks to £2 million of funding from Norfolk County Council as part of an agreed three year Fire and Rescue Service Plan. The funding has been used predominantly to build South Lynn Fire Station but training facilities at the sister North Lynn Fire Station have also been improved for crews. This includes for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Youth Development projects including the Princes Trust partnership, as well as major improvements to the workshop facilities to improve vehicle maintenance across the County Council’s fleet.
Nigel Williams, Chief Fire Officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said; “The new South Lynn Fire Station is situated less than 7 miles from The Queen's Sandringham Estate so we are delighted that Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh are able to join us and are honoured that they will formally open the station.


“The new station will provide a welcome boost to the Fire and Rescue Service and more importantly to the residents of Norfolk. With the current financial pressures on all public services, it is reassuring that the County Council and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are still committed to improving the safety and service to the people of Norfolk.”

Station Manager for King's Lynn, Bob Ayers, said: "The official opening of the South Lynn Station gives us the opportunity to showcase some of the work we do in the West of the county. Representatives of both the Princes Trust and Hunstanton Fire Cadets will be present on the day. Both these schemes provide an opportunity for the Service to work with and develop young people in our area.


"The new station will be home to the Technical Rescue Unit and Surface Rescue Boat which was deployed to assist with flooding along the West Norfolk Coast during the tidal surge of December 2013, and also in Windsor during the widespread flooding in early 2014.”

Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee added: "It is vital Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service continues to serve the people of Norfolk as effectively as possible. So although the Council has been under increasing financial pressure for several years, funding was released to enable this important project to go ahead.

“The new fire station will improve emergency cover by allowing the Service to utilise its existing fire-fighting crews in a more effective and responsive manner, especially as Kings Lynn expands to the South.”

Don’t miss life’s precious moments

Aged 40-74? Don't miss life's precious moments – find out if you’re eligible for a free NHS Health Check. Having a health check can help you prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and only takes 30 minutes of your time!

Norfolk’s firefighters are backing this year’s campaign, to encourage as many people as possible to have an NHS Health Check. Watch a video to see how they got on…

 

 

For more information visit www.mynhshealthcheck.com

Make a New Year's resolution to test your smoke alarms every month in 2015 – and beyond

With the New Year underway, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to make their resolutions in 2015 to make sure that their smoke alarms are up to date, in the right place and that they test them every month.

Why not circle the first of every month on your new calendar 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 the Fire and Rescue Service is 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 in Norfolk 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.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is therefore asking people to make sure 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 month; 
  • 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, e.g. a heater, or other risk; 
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected. 

Stuart Horth, Head of Community Safety for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, 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.

“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 on the first of every month and protect your loved ones in 2015. “

We have attended 18 chimney fires since Christmas Eve. Don't let yours be next.

We have attended 18 chimney fires since Christmas Eve.

Don't let yours be next.

We all like sitting by an open fire at this time of year BUT there are some simple precautions you should take:

  • Make sure your chimney is swept by a professional Chimney Sweep regularly.
  • Make sure your chimney is structurally sound if in doubt contact a reputable builder.
  • If you are using wood. Make sure it is well seasoned and dry. 
  • If you do think you've got a chimney fire call 999 and get out and stay out of the house. 

More info here   

 A Professional Chimney Sweep

Always make sure your chimney is swept by a professional Chimney Sweep

Chimney Fire at Smallburgh Crown this Christmas

Crews from Stalham, North Walsham and Earlham Blue Watch attended a chimney fire at The Crown Public House, Smallburgh on Tuesday 30 December 2014.

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