Category Archives: News

Holiday Fire Safety Advice

Cleveland Fire Brigade are asking people to take extra care and be vigilant during the half term break to avoid deliberate fires and lives being put at risk.

Parents should make sure they know where their children are and also remove any rubbish away from houses and other properties.

It comes after latest figures show a 36% increase in deliberate fires across Cleveland in the last two years. There were 345 fires in April and May 2016 compared to 468 from April to May 20 this year.

John Feeney, District Manager, Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “Make no mistake deliberate fire setting is a blight on the whole community and is irresponsible. Buildings, wheelie bins, rubbish and grasslands have all been targeted recently.

We are asking people to remove any rubbish away from their properties and for parents to remind their children of the severe consequences of starting fires.

These fires divert our firefighters away from real emergencies where lives may be at risk and can also cause serious damage to property and the environment.

All our appliances are fitted with CCTV cameras and any evidence of people starting fires will be passed to the police and appropriate action taken. We need the help of everyone in the community to stop these incidents“.

Superintendent Bev Gill, from Cleveland Police, said: “Whilst some people may believe that by setting fire to an object they may not hurt anyone, arsonists do take risks which could leave someone seriously injured or could potentially kill someone. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will work together with Cleveland Fire Brigade to ensure that anyone committing such acts is put before the courts wherever possible.”

If anyone has any information about arson or anti-social behaviour in their area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101.

Be water aware this summer

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging people to be careful around water as drowning in the UK is one of the leading causes of accidental death.

The call comes to support the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) drowning prevention and water safety campaign ‘Be Water Aware’ which runs from 23rd – 29th April.

Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Many more people are left with life changing injuries in water related incidents.

Dave Turton, Head of Community Safety for Cleveland Fire Brigade said, “It is essential to highlight the dangers of drowning and to be ‘Water Aware’. Locally we have the River Tees and other waterways that can pose a danger to anyone who goes near them. We hope that by providing people with safety advice, it will hopefully save lives.”

NFCC’s Water Safety Lead, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker, said “Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners and walkers.

“They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths.”

Safety advice

  • If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge
  • Make sure conditions are safe, avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather
  • If you’ve had alcohol don’t enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid routes near water
  • Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available
  • If you are spending time near water – whether at home or abroad make sure you are familiar with local safety information

The fire service has successfully reduced the number of accidental dwelling fires by focusing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to support our partners and the community to  tackling drowning. Response is not enough – we must prevent drownings.

First Steps to Success

Young people have taken their first steps in learning new skills and increasing their chances of getting a job as they got together to kick-start the latest programme of courses organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade in partnership with the National Citizen Service.

The initial team building session at Middlesbrough Community Fire Station will be followed by residential outdoor activities in the Lake District and a series of community projects

The young people are from the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council area and the programme has been organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Youth Engagement Team led by Commissioned Services Manager Helen Winskill.

She said:  “It is a hugely exciting opportunity for teenagers to develop team working and leadership skills, boost their confidence and also get out and about to design projects to help the local community.

The sessions at Middlesbrough station were a great way to start the latest programme and give those taking part the chance to meet each other for the first time, have fun and take part in team building on the climbing wall and other activities. As well canoeing, rafting and climbing in the Lake District, they will also take part in firefighter training and deliver community projects to help local people.

They have already shown tremendous enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and a willingness to learn”.

All participants will be awarded nationally recognised volunteering qualifications as well as being presented with National Citizen Service completion certificate signed by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Last summer across the whole of the Tees Valley almost 1,000 teenagers completed NCS programmes and organised around 60 youth-led community programmes

Appeal to parents to help keep arson incidents down

Parents are being urged to help Cleveland Fire Brigade make it a Happy Easter for everyone by continuing to support the drive to reduce deliberate fires.

It comes after figures for the same holiday break last year showed a 61% increase on 2016.

Dave Turton, Head of Community Safety at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Although the lack of rainfall over the last Easter holidays was probably a factor in this massive increase, the simple fact is there were still 460 fires deliberately set over a very short period. We are urging parents to make sure they know what their children are doing over the holidays and make sure they are staying out of trouble.

“This is the first big school break of the year and the longer days and warmer weather means  more young people are outside and for a small minority this results in irresponsible behaviour.

“Make no mistake, deliberate firesettting is a blight on the whole community. Buildings, wheelie bins, rubbish and grasslands have all been targeted in recent years. This can cause serious damage to property and the environment, and divert our resources away from real emergencies.

“We will not tolerate arson. We are working closely with the Police and Local Authorities, and immediate action will be taken against anyone caught deliberately starting a fire. We want everyone to enjoy the Easter break, but ask them to be responsible.”

For Easter 2017 (7 April to 24 April) there were 460 deliberate fires Cleveland Fire Brigade attended; 160 incidents in Redcar and Cleveland, 150 in Middlesbrough, 83 in Stockton and 67 in Hartlepool.

Compared with Easter 2016 (March 25 to April 11) there were 161 deliberate fires Cleveland Fire Brigade attended; 38 incidents in Redcar and Cleveland, 28 in Middlesbrough, 18 in Stockton and 17 in Hartlepool.

Superintendent Bev Gill, from Cleveland Police, said: “Whilst some people may believe that by setting fire to an object they may not hurt anyone, arsonists do take risks which could leave someone seriously injured or could potentially kill someone. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will work together with Cleveland Fire Brigade to ensure that anyone committing such acts is put before the courts wherever possible.”

If anyone has any information about arson or anti-social behaviour in their area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101.

Fire door advice for residents

Cleveland Fire Brigade is reassuring residents over the use and provision of fire doors.  

It comes after doors for flats in Grenfell Tower, which was destroyed by fire last year, could only hold back a fire for half the time they were designed to.

Joe Flounders, Head of Fire Engineering, CFB said: “Our advice has not changed, in the event of a fire people should continue to follow existing fire procedures in their property.

Fire doors are important but they are only part of a range of safety measures. Having working smoke alarms which are regularly tested are vital. Figures show that without a working smoke alarm you are four times more likely to die in a fire..

Other sensible steps to prevent a fire include never leaving cooking unattended, ensuring smoking materials are properly extinguished and disposed of, never leaving candles unattended and not putting items over heaters.”

What should I do if I am worried about my fire door?
If you are worried about any aspect of fire safety in your building you should contact your landlord/owner/responsible person in the first instance.

Why are fire doors important?
Fire doors are part of the key fire safety measure in place in buildings. They are designed to hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.

While fire doors are important, residents need to know what to do in the event of a fire in their building. All these measures come together to ensure people are kept safe in their own homes.

There are plenty of ways you can keep you and your family safer from the risks of fire in your home. Having working smoke alarms and testing them every week to check they are working, is one of the easiest ways to protect your family and your home.

I have a fire door on my flat – am I at risk?
There is no evidence to suggest there is an increased risk to public safety. Further tests are being carried out at this time and residents should continue to act in line with their building’s fire plan.

If we aren’t sure if our fire doors are safe, should we just keep them open?
People living in buildings with fire doors should continue to keep them closed at all times. Given the technical nature of fire door testing, further investigations are likely to take some time however the National Fire Chiefs Council will monitor progress on this issue and update our advice regularly.

If you have any concerns over the fire door fitted to your property please contact our Fire Engineering Department via FireEngineeringHelpDesk@clevelandfire.gov.uk