Keep Warm, Keep Safe says fire and rescue service

With snow and freezing temperatures affecting the whole region Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is urging people to Keep Warm, Keep Safe.

During the cold snap we tend to spend more time in our homes, using a range of methods to keep ourselves warm. However ignoring a few basic precautions could cause a house fire to start with devastating consequences.

Neil Liddington, Deputy Head of AF&RS Community Safety said: “During freezing conditions like we’ve seen this week we tend to spend more time in our homes, heating them in many different ways.

“If used correctly most heating appliances pose no danger, but during the colder spells we tend to see a rise in the number of house fires we attend that involve things like electric heaters, open fires and electric blankets.

“The Keep Warm, Keep Safe campaign aims to remind those most at risk, such as older people, those with long term illnesses or families with young children, to just take extra care.

“Simple steps like remembering to unplug electric heaters when you’re not in the room and keeping them well away from curtains and furniture, can seriously reduce the risk of having a devastating fire in the home.

“Sometimes however accidents do happen, so having working smoke alarms in your home can give you vital extra minutes to get out of the property in the event of a fire. Make sure you test the batteries every week.”

Keep Warm, Keep Safe safety tips

  • Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Always unplug electrical heaters when you go out or go to bed.
  • Unless the instructions say it is safe to do so, always unplug electric blankets before getting into bed.
  • Never use hot water bottles and electric blankets in the same bed, even if the blanket is off.
  • Make sure open fires are protected by a guard to stop flying sparks and embers
  • Chimneys and flues should be swept regularly and well maintained.