Public urged to think about fire and road safety

Sat 31 Aug, 2013

With possible strike action on the horizon because of a national dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government over pensions, it is important we all do everything we can to help reduce unnecessary 999 calls.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has a robust business continuity plan in place in case a strike happens, but there is inevitably going to be an impact on our usual response times.

We are therefore urging the public to be vigilant during any strike periods, and to follow these 10 tips to help stay safe at home, at work and on the roads:

  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home: Smoke alarms warn you when a fire has broken out, giving you time to escape. Check that your alarms have batteries and that they are working.
  • Make an escape plan and practise it with everyone in your home: Plan an escape route – and a second route in case the first one is blocked – and practise it with everyone in your home. Make sure exits are kept clear.
  • Take extra care when cooking, particularly with hot oils: Most house fires start in the kitchen. Avoid being distracted, never leave cooking unattended and don't cook when you are tired or have been drinking.
  • Dispose of cigarettes carefully, and don’t smoke in bed: Carelessly discarded cigarettes are responsible for most deaths in house fires in the UK. When you have finished smoking, put it out - right out. Please also keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Be careful when using candles and tea lights: Always use a suitable holder and blow out any lit candles when you leave the room. Candles can easily set fire to curtains or furniture, and tea light metal holders get hot enough to burn the surface they are on.
  • Carry out a bedtime check of your home: Close inside doors to stop a fire from spreading, and turn off and unplug electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on – like your freezer.
  • Business owners should check their premises are safe from fire: If you run a business, you have a responsibility for the fire safety of your staff and customers, so make sure you check your plans.
  • Do your bit to help vulnerable friends, family and neighbours: Some people may need extra help to stay safe from fire. Your visit could save a life.
  • Take extra care on the roads: Observe speed limits, don’t drink and drive, always wear your seatbelt and make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
  • If there's a fire, get out, stay out and call 999: Don’t try to tackle fires yourself as fires can get out of control very quickly. Leave the building as quickly as possible and call 999.