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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.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service urge people to snuff out the fire risk

 

A Candle
With the days getting darker and winter setting in, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, as part of the Fire Kills campaign, is asking people to take care this Candle Fire Safety Week (17-23 November) and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

More candles are likely to be scattered around the house at this time of year but with candle fires resulting in around 350 casualties each year, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are asking people to take extra care with candles this winter. Nearly 40% of all fires started by candles result in a death or injury.

The most important step you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to ensure your home has a working smoke alarm. To prevent candle fires from starting, make sure the candles are kept away from flammable materials like curtains and ensure they are put out when you leave the room, even for a moment.

Stuart Horth, Head of Community at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Candles are a typical sight in many homes, scenting our rooms and giving an atmospheric glow to cold winter nights. But it’s important to remember that a candle is not just a decorative feature. Left unattended, an open flame scenting your home could leave a trail of devastation.

“Place your lit candles with extra care, away from curtains, pets and children and always remember to put them out when you leave the room, even for a moment.

“Even with these precautions it is vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by practicing your escape routes.”

To help you enjoy your candles safely, the Fire Kills campaign has offered some tips for Candle Fire Safety Week:

  • Never leave lit candles unattended.Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they are out completely at night. 
  • Place your candles carefully.Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books. 
  • Don’t move candles once they are lit. 
  • Do not burn several candles close togetheras this might cause the flame to flare. 
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents.This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping. 
  • Put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon- sparks can fly if you blow them out. 
  • Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder.These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance. 
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly.A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. 
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur – practise your escape route.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service honours members of the public and firefighters

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is holding its Annual Awards Evening tomorrow (Wednesday 12 November) to recognise the bravery, excellence and dedication of members of the public and firefighters.


A Certificate of Commendation, which recognises the actions worthy of commendation, will be awarded to:

  • Retained firefighter James Duncan 
  • Students and staff from East Norfolk Sixth Form College. Teachers – Neil White, Emma Chambers and Michelle Pitchers. Students – Tim Bedwell, Katie Bould, Louis Cook, Aiden Goldsmith, Adam Legind, Rebecca Medley and Kira Phenix. 
  • Fakenham Retained and Red Watch Control 


Station Manager Phil Berry nominated both Fakenham Retained and Red Watch Control because of their response to and the essential advice given to a family after a fire broke out in their house trapping a young lady in her bedroom. The teenager was rescued uninjured after firefighters battled through the flames. Phil said: “On that date a family needed their local firefighters and without doubt from the initial call being made, the machinery of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service worked as we have planned and trained for.

“Faced with adversity firefighters in control and at Fakenham did exactly what they profess to do… save life.”

Nigel Williams, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, will present two of the Certificates of Commendation and commented on the awards evening by saying: “It has been a difficult decision once again to pick only a handful of recipients to be given an award. We often hear of examples where people have done more than is required and our awards event is an opportunity to repay their efforts by saying thank you.”

Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: “The Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Annual Awards are a welcome opportunity to formally recognise professional achievement, outstanding commitment and even acts of bravery.

“The event shall highlight some extraordinary dedication and service shown by NFRS staff and also some members of the public, so as Chairman of the Committee I would pay tribute to all concerned for their excellent efforts and selfless actions on behalf of others.”

Other winners are:

  • Making a Difference Award – Amanda Bailey, Assistant Procurement Officer - presented by Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams
  • Community Partnerships Award – Fire Fighting Fit Team – Great Yarmouth – presented by High Sheriff of Norfolk Lady Dannatt 
  • Department with greatest contribution to the Firefighter Charity Award – Holt Retained Station presented by Norfolk County Council Chairman Brian Hannah 


In addition, awards to be presented at tomorrow's event include Long Service and Good Conduct Medals.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service's Awards Evening will take place at Norwich Castle on Wednesday 12 November. All costs, which total less than £1,500, are being covered by the Service's Commercial Training Department*.

** Members of the media are welcome to attend the Annual Awards Evening on Wednesday 12 November which takes place in The Keep at Norwich Castle at 7.30pm.
Please confirm your attendance by contacting Media Officer Lou Chapman on 01603 228888 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. **

Notes:

*Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Commercial Training Department

Our Commercial Training Department is responsible for running fire courses for members of the public in all areas of commerce and industry.

The most popular courses we run are fire extinguisher and Fire Marshall training. We have a wide range of customers ranging from an Army Tank Regiment (Breathing Apparatus Course) to Local Authority Care Home staff (Fire Safety Inductions).

Our team of four staff travel all over Norfolk and as far as Scotland delivering all types of fire training, whether it be basic or specific, individual tailor-made courses.

The Commercial Training Team is based at our Training Centre in Bowthorpe and can be contacted on 07789 715345, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Full details are available on our website www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk

Celebrate safely this bonfire night

Organised displays

Many local authorities, schools and community groups hold firework displays to mark certain occasions and they are a great place to enjoy a good night out. They are sometimes free of charge and many raise money for local charities. Fireworks can be expensive. You’re likely to get more dazzle and bang at an organised event. And, you won’t have to plan and host it yourself, taking responsibility for the safety aspects.
Enjoying the fireworks in your local park with your local community – sharing the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ in the crowd – can be a great way of getting together, meeting with your friends and neighbours and sharing in your local community spirit. But remember to take a torch along with you and make sure children wear bright clothes so they can be easily seen.


Hosting a fireworks party

If you have a safe place to do so and want to celebrate with fireworks in the comfort of your own garden or on other private land (with the landowner’s permission), there’s nothing to stop you and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a great evening. But remember that both you and your guests will need to take care.

These tips are to help you think about and prepare for a fun and safe celebration at home.

Plan ahead:

  • Fireworks must be stored safely, in a closed box, somewhere cool and dry, out of reach of children and animals, until the time they are needed. Don’t keep the box under the stairs or in a passageway.
  • Do you have a large enough space to let fireworks off safely? Each firework should have a minimum safety distance marked on it.
  • Be considerate to your neighbours: warn them beforehand so they can take in their washing, close windows, keep their pets indoors and, if necessary, take other precautions. Why not invite them?
  • Only buy fireworks from reputable dealers. The fireworks should have the product safety marking BS7114 or equivalent and carry a CE mark.
  • Most shops have only been given permission to sell fireworks on or between these dates: 
  • 15 October to 10 November 
  • 26 to 31 December 
  • 3 days before Diwali and Chinese New Year

 

To buy fireworks at other times, you must go to specially licensed shops.

  • Fireworks cannot be let off between 11pm and 7am except on:
  • Bonfire Night (5 November), when the cut off is midnight; 
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

Party time:

  • Fireworks must only be handled and lit by responsible adults. 
  • Alcohol and fire don’t mix – nor do alcohol and fireworks. 
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box well away from the bonfire or any other sources of heat or fire. 
  • Follow the instructions on each firework. Different fireworks can present different hazards and so the instructions vary. 
  • Use a torch if you read the instructions in the dark – do not use a naked flame. 
  • Let fireworks off one at a time. 
  • Do not throw fireworks – it is highly dangerous. 
  • Light them at arm’s length, using a taper. 
  • Never play with fireworks – they are explosives and can hurt you. 
  • When you are watching fireworks, stand well back. 
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode. 
  • Hold sparklers one at a time in gloved hands at arm’s length. When the sparkler goes out, it is still very hot so put it end down in a bucket of water. 
  • Never leave matches or lighters lying around 
  • We recommend that you do not use sky lanterns as you have no control over them once they’ve been set off. They can kill animals, litter the countryside and start fires. If you do choose to set them off, always follow the manufacturers’ guidance/instructions carefully.

Clearing up:

  • Pick up the spent firework cases – they can still be dangerous. Look for fireworks with a torch. Use tongs or some other suitable tool and wear heatproof gloves. 
  • Don’t allow children to collect firework cases. 
  • If any firework looks as if it hasn’t gone off after at least half an hour, soak it in water to prevent it reigniting.

Having a bonfire

A bonfire is a great way to celebrate Bonfire Night, but do follow these safety tips:

  • You can’t get rid of household waste on the bonfire if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health. You should always burn dry material as it produces less smoke. Never burn treated wood, rubber, plastic, foam or paint. 
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand so they can take in any washing, close windows, keep pets indoors and take other necessary precautions.
  • Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, roads, garden sheds, fences, trees and hedges and, if possible, choose somewhere sheltered from wind to minimise the risk of the bonfire being blown out of control or of smoke restricting the vision of road users. 
  • Check there are no cables – like telephone wires – above the bonfire. 
  • Before you light the bonfire, check whether any pets, wildlife or small children have crawled inside. 
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a working hosepipe nearby in case of fire. 
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never throw on fireworks or burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries. 
  • Don’t leave bonfires unattended and keep children and pets away. A responsible adult should supervise the bonfire until it has burnt out. 
  • Once the bonfire has died down, pour water on the embers to stop it reigniting.

 

Electrical Fire Safety Week 2015

Consumers are risking lives by using portable heaters incorrectly, warns Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and charity Electrical Safety First.

People are playing with fire in their efforts to find cheaper heating options this winter, research by Electrical Safety First has revealed, with many unaware of the dangers that the alternatives can pose.

With concerns about rising energy prices forcing people to use portable heaters in order to warm their homes, the charity is joining forces with the Fire and Rescue Service to warn of the risks associated with these items as part of Electrical Fire Safety Week, which runs from today (Monday 10 November) until Saturday.

Electrical Safety First’s research found that 78% of people were worried about the rising costs of energy bills, and over half would use portable heaters as an alternative to keep warm this winter.

However, it was also revealed that many could put themselves and their loved ones at risk by using the heaters incorrectly. More than a third - 38% of people - admitted they would leave a heater switched on and unattended, whilst 21% would leave one switched on overnight. With portable heaters having caused 73 deaths, around 1,000 injuries and over 3,800 fires since 2009/10, the dangers posed by using them incorrectly are very real.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable. Those aged 80 and over make up nearly 40% of the fatalities caused by portable-heater fires last year, even though 33% of people would use a portable heater to keep an older relative warm.

In order to minimise the danger, Electrical Safety First and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have produced the following guidance for heating your home safely:

  • Never leave portable heaters unattended 
  • Never leave them on whilst sleeping 
  • Ensure they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over 
  • Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains 
  • Never buy second hand halogen heaters 
  • Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires 
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it is damaged – don’t use it

Stuart Horth, Head of Community Safety for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, added: “With winter approaching, people will be considering the costs of heating their homes and many will be seeking cheaper alternatives. Yet the cost counting may not stop there if portable heaters are used incorrectly. Instead of saving money, you could be looking at fire, injury and even death. It is therefore vital that people take our messages on board and follow the advice provided”.


Notes:
All research, unless otherwise stated, is derived from an Electrical Safety First survey carried out between 13 and 24 October 2014
Electrical Safety First is a Charity dedicated to reducing deaths, injury and damage caused by electricity. For more information please visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

TICK TOCK TEST your smoke alarm before it’s too late

TICK TOCK TEST your smoke alarm before it’s too late ...

Tick Tock Test - Bunny ImageWith the clock’s going back later this week, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is urging people in the county to get their smoke alarms tested.

Smoke, the silent killer, is responsible for over half of all deaths in accidental fires in the home in the UK.

Last year over half the 213 fire deaths in the home were caused by smoke inhalation. Working smoke alarms can give people the wake-up call they need to escape – because smoke will not, it will leave you for dead.

In the majority of domestic fires across the country with fatalities, smoke alarms were either absent or did not go off – and a common cause was missing or flat batteries. That is why the Fire Kills campaign, run in partnership with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, is asking people to make an online pledge to test their smoke alarms when the clocks change (25-26 October). A simple push of the test button and you will test both the power supply and the detection mechanism.

In March 2014, nearly one in seven people tested their smoke alarms when they changed their clocks to British Summer Time. This autumn, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service wants even more people to help keep their loved ones safer from fire by testing their smoke alarms. Everyone can join in and pledge to Tick Tock Test.

Over half the people who died in fires in the home last year were 65 years old or over. So as well as testing their own alarms, Fire Kills is also urging householders to test for people who might need help testing theirs. The few seconds it takes to test could provide a few valuable minutes for loved ones to escape safely.

Stuart Horth, Head of Community Safety at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Smoke alarms are a proven life saving tool, but they are no use if they are not working. You are at least four times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm, so taking the time to test the smoke alarms in your home could be a truly life saving decision.

“The clock change weekend can act as a great reminder to test your smoke alarms. So over the weekend of 25-26 October why not test yours when you change the clocks.”

Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said: "The evidence is clear - smoke inhalation can be deadly, so I would urge people to fit smoke detectors, to regularly test them and to help those who may not be able to fit or test their own alarms.

"Linking a test to the October clock-change is a helpful prompt, so please use this week-end to take action that could genuinely save lives."

Pledgers will be able to sign up on the Fire Kills Facebook page or click on special Fire Kills ‘Tick Tock Test’ adverts when they see them online and on their mobile phones.

 

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