DORSET & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is urging people to make sure they are keeping themselves and their families safe at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Following government advice to stay at home, it is more important than ever that households are taking the right steps to ensure they are safe from fire.
Everyone can do their part by taking small simple steps such as ensuring that smoke alarms are working and cooking is not left unattended.
DWFRS is urging people to:
- Make sure you have a smoke alarm on each level of the house and test the batteries regularly.
- Take extra care when cooking – never leave cooking unattended or leave children alone in the kitchen when the hob or oven is on. Never cook while under the influence of alcohol.
- Plan an escape route in case there is a fire in the home and make sure everyone in the property knows what to do.
- Check for fire hazards, such as electrical items or hobs left switched on, before you go to bed.
- Don’t overload plug sockets – keep to one plug per socket and also look out for plugs and cables that are poorly wired, as they can be dangerous.
- Always stub out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully. Don’t smoke in bed or anywhere you could fall asleep.
- Make sure candles are placed in a secure holder and kept away from curtains, fabrics and paper. Always put candles out before going to bed or leaving the room.
- NEVER try and tackle any fire yourself. Get out, stay out and call 999.
Area manager Craig Baker, head of prevention and protection at DWFRS, said: “The recent government decisions to close schools and businesses, so that as many people as possible stay safe in their homes, is something we want all of our communities to understand and support.
“The only way for us to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid socialising and to maintain at least two metres of distance when we do have to venture out.
“However, we are also urging people to be aware of the additional fire risks that so much time at home can bring, and to take steps to protect themselves and their families. There is no excuse not to have working smoke alarms which are tested regularly.
“We also ask that you take extra care in the kitchen, especially if you have young children around – and if you are enjoying a drink, consider getting a takeaway delivered instead of making something yourself.”
The service is working hard to maintain business as usual during these unprecedented times – some of its work will be delivered in a different way to protect the vulnerable, such as vital Safe & Well guidance being given by telephone, but still dial 999 in an emergency.
If you need any support or know anyone that needs the service’s help, please call 0800 038 2323 or visit the website for a wide range of fire safety advice www.dwfire.org.uk/safety