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Candle Fire Safety: Snuff out the fire risk

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging residents to be extra vigilant if using candles over the winter months and also for those who celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Diwali, also known as the ‘festival of lights’ takes place on Thursday, 19 October and is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. This religious festival involves lighting symbolic candles which can pose a fire risk, as do candles which add to the eeriness of Halloween when plastic capes and costumes can easily catch fire.

This week is Candle Fire Safety Week (16-22 October) and fire and rescue services across the country are asking people to take care and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.

With winter fast approaching, a few candles scattered round the room can lend a warm glow to an evening in or add some festive cheer to the season’s celebrations such as Guy Fawkes’ night and Christmas.

But with candle fires resulting in over 300 casualties each year, Cleveland Fire Brigade is asking people to take extra care with candles this winter – more than one in three of all reported accidental fires in the home started by candles result in a death or injury.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Safety 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.

“So far this financial year there have been six fires caused by candles across Teesside. If we compare this to 2016/17 where we had 10, it means if the trend continues we could have more fires than in the previous four years which is the reason for us reminding people what precautions they can take.

“With the nights now drawing in and Diwali being celebrated this week, it is a popular time to start lighting candles in the home, however please take precautions. 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’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. Working smoke alarms can give you the vital 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 practising your escape routes.”

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

● Never leave lit candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re 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 together as 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.
● Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.
● Fit smoke alarms and test them now and weekly. 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.

For those celebrating Diwali:

• Treat the Diva (candle) as you would any other flame:
o Use only enough ghee (clarified butter) to last your Puja (worship).
o Place it in a suitable fire resistant candleholder and do not leave it unattended
o Keep the flame a safe distance from curtains, furniture or decorations at all times. Remember long hair and clothing is also very flammable.
o Ensure candles are out when finished.

Training on life-saving equipment

Free training for residents on the first public defibrillator to be fitted outside a Cleveland fire station is available this weekend.

The life-saving equipment at the retained Headland station in Hartlepool follows a community campaign and funding from local businesses.

The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is accessed by a 999 emergency call to the ambulance service to ensure help is on the way and the caller is given a code to unlock the device.

It is easy to use but training is recommended and a special session with qualified first aiders is being held at the station on Sunday October 15 (One hour slots are available from 10am to 3pm).

Across the country there are about 60,000 cardiac arrests a year and 85% happen at home where there is no emergency equipment. Having an AED nearby and accessible can raise the chances of individual survival to more than 70%.

The community campaign was launched by the Fisherman’s Arms on Southgate, Headland with further funding coming from ITC First and the Hereema Fabrication Group’s Employee Charity Fund.

Mark Moore from ITC said: “We are extremely proud to be part of this great cause.  Part of our business is the development and delivery of first aid qualifications, so this project was naturally close to our hearts. We are indebted to everyone involved and also to Cleveland Fire Brigade for agreeing it to be located and accessible at the Headland Fire Station.

“We urge the local community to come along to the free training session. Familiarisation with the device saves time and saving time helps saves lives.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said:  “This is an outstanding example of everyone working together to support the local community and we are very pleased to be involved by making this vital equipment accessible.”

To book a place on our free training section then please go to

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-cpr-aed-training-tickets-38518292249, email

hartlepoolaed@hotmail.com or go the CommunityDefibandCPRTrainingHartlepool Facebook page.

Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) specializes in the engineering and fabrication of large and complex structures for the offshore oil and gas and energy-related industries.

ITC First is an Awarding Body based on the Headland, designing, developing and offering a range of qualifications, training courses and training consultancy for businesses.

Helping you to stay safe and warm this winter

Cleveland Fire Brigade is once again providing a helping hand to anyone struggling to keep warm this winter.

Nearly 2000 people across Cleveland have received support during the past three Stay Safe and Warm campaigns with more than 1700 heaters handed out as well as hundreds of thermal and electrical blankets and mattress covers.

Those helped have ranged from 16-year-olds to a woman aged 101-years-old and Cleveland Fire Brigade is appealing for anyone who knows family members or friends in difficulties to come forward and get the help they need.

Stay Safe Warm runs annually from October 1 to March 31

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Anyone who knows anyone who could be struggling to keep warm this winter should get in touch immediately. Little or no heating can be a matter of life and death and no one should be in that position. We are here to help.

 “It is not just older people who are vulnerable and at risk of cold weather during the winter months. Every year we are alerted to a number of families who simply cannot afford to put their heating on and often their young children have to go to bed in their clothes to stay warm.

 “We are ready to give any support that may be needed to ensure everyone stays safe and warm this winter.”

Electric heaters, thermal blankets, flasks and fleecy mattress covers are available through Stay Safe and Warm campaign and there is also advice on managing fuel bills and referrals for free boiler repairs or replacements where funding is available.

The Stay Safe and Warm campaign is led by Cleveland Fire Brigade and sees many agencies working together to provide advice and support. It runs from October until the end of March.

Organisations involved include Age UK Teesside, Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough Councils, Middlesbrough Environment City, Middlesbrough and Stockton MIND and Warm Homes Healthy People, Stockton.

The campaign comes as fire brigades across the country together with NHS England, Public Health England, Age UK and the Local Government Association have pledged to tackle health and social problems together to try and reduce the number of winter hospital admissions and winter deaths and improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Support ranges from organising safe and temporary heating to helping people get specialist guidance on managing their fuel bills. Where appropriate there are also onward referrals for possible free boiler repairs or replacements.

Since October 2013 the Stay Safe and Warm campaign has helped 1887 residents. – Stockton (609); Middlesbrough (523), Redcar and Cleveland (395) and Hartlepool (360).

 

 

Stay Safe and Warm campaign

  • Who is eligible?  Anyone who is at risk from the effects of cold, either long or short term
  • What does it cost – it’s a free service to anyone living in Cleveland
  • Not means tested
  • What do we offer? 24 hour, seven day a week support and a response within an hour of being contacted
  • What do we provide?  Portable heaters, electric blankets, thermal blankets, flasks, wind-up lanterns
  • Partners: We can put people in touch with other agencies who can provide other support
  • What age group do we cover? The youngest person we have helped is 16. The oldest 94. There is no restriction.
  • Last year’s campaign helped more than 700 people and included lending out 395 electric heaters, 121 thermal blankets and 12 electric blankets.
  • Ring 01429 874063 or go to www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/warm

Coastguards in first move with firefighters

Redcar Coastguard Rescue Team is the first in the North East to share a base with firefighters.

Welcome aboard…Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade, with Dave Budd, Station Officer, Redcar Coastguard

They have been formally welcomed to Redcar Community Fire Station by Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade and since moving in earlier this year have already attended nearly 50 incidents.

These have ranged from people floating out to sea in inflatable dinghies, fishing vessels with technical problems to vehicles stuck on the beach.

Steve Hart, Senior Coastguard Operations Officer for HM Coastguard said: “This relocation into a shared station reinforces the strong partnership we already have with our colleagues in Cleveland Fire Brigade and we are proud to be the first Coastguard Rescue Team in the North East to do this.

Working in close collaboration with our colleagues across other agencies is a fundamental part of how we work and our new shared station continues to strengthen the work we already do to keep people safe on the Cleveland coast.”

The new £1.4m state-of-the-art Redcar Community Fire Station was officially opened in 2011 and includes community meeting and training rooms as well as gymnasium and multi-sport activities room.

Funding included the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership, the Primary Care Trust and the Youth Capital Fund Plus.

Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said: “We are delighted to have the Coastguard team on board as key partner in protecting local people and sharing the first-class community facilities we have at Redcar.”

Young graduates in line for success

Young people given a kick-start in learning new life skills are graduating with nationally recognised volunteering qualifications.

They are the first to successfully complete a summer programme of courses with Cleveland Fire Brigade after the organisation linked-up with the National Citizen Service (NCS).

The 25 young people, aged 16 and 17, from the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council area, will get their certificates at a special graduation ceremony.

The two courses to date have seen them take part in residential outdoor activities at Ford Castle in Northumberland and a week at Redcar racecourse with presentations from a variety of organisations. These included Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Learn and Live programme, the homelessness charity Centrepoint and the British Red Cross , Mind in Redcar and Cleveland as well as developing team working skills through firefighter training.

Recent participants helped Leonard Cheshire Homes celebrate their 100th birthday by staging a sponsored hose reel run at Marske Hall and raising money to provide residents with an afternoon tea and games.

They also provided afternoon tea at Briarwood Nursing and Residential Home in Eston.

In addition they worked with the MIND mental health charity shop in Redcar to design marketing leaflets, clear-up the flood damaged basement, stock taking and developing resources for parents, toddlers and young children to use.

The programme has been organised by Cleveland Brigade’s Youth Engagement Team and led by Commissioned Services Manager Sue Knott.

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

Sue Knott said: “It has been hugely rewarding to see these young people tackle a wide variety of issues, grow in confidence and learn new skills which will benefit them in the future. They have really enjoyed working in the community and some have already pledged to continue volunteering in their communities.

“They have all shown tremendous enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and a willingness to learn, which will benefit themselves and the local community. They all richly deserve to graduate and we wish them every success.”

Across the whole of the Tees Valley almost 1,000 teenagers completed NCS this summer, organising around 60 youth-led community projects.

The next NCS programme will be taking place during the autumn half-term and is open to 16 and 17 year olds in year 12, 13 or equivalent provision. Participants will get a chance to experience adventure in the Lake District, meeting new friends and gaining skills, before returning home to deliver a community project that has a lasting impact on the local area. Government backing means the programme never costs more than £50, with bursaries also available.

Cleveland Fire Brigade will be running an NCS programme for local teenagers that departs on Monday October 23. To express an interest call 0191 247 4020 or visit www.NCSYES.co.uk.