Keep Fire Safe – children’s poster drawing contest

Home schooling? We’ve got you covered.

We’re launching a poster drawing competition for your youngsters and we have a load of LEGO prizes up for grabs.

We’ll be sharing as many entries as possible with our staff to help keep spirits up, too.

All we want your youngsters to do is get a piece of A4 paper and draw us a firefighter, fire engine or fire station.

They must also include at least one of the below safety messages:

  • don’t forget about your cooking!
  • don’t leave clothes near electric heaters
  • don’t use broken electrical items
  • test your smoke alarms!

When they’ve done just add their name, age, a grown-up’s name and their contact details. Either DM us a photo or email one to press@syfire.gov.uk.

Winners will be picked in May. We look forward to seeing the entries!

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Fire service offers safety advice in light of virus pandemic

South Yorkshire’s firefighters are calling on people to take extra steps to keep themselves safe from fire, following the Government’s recent announcements on social distancing.

They say that, with thousands across the county expected to either self-isolate, work from home or generally stay away from others, it’s never been more important to think about fire safety.

And despite the fact that crews are continuing to respond to 999 emergencies as normal, senior fire officers are keen to limit potentially avoidable call outs.

“We’re certainly not trying to panic anyone here – nor take away from the very important health advice – as our firefighters are continuing to respond to calls as normal,” said Group Manager Matt Gillatt, head of the joint police and fire community safety team.

“What we are doing, though, is asking people who are spending more time than normal at home to have a think about fire safety and take on board some of our advice.

“Simple steps – like making sure you’ve got working smoke alarms – can make a huge difference in terms of how safe you and your family are at home.”

The service has boiled its top tips down to four key things – based on the leading causes of accidental house fire across South Yorkshire:

  1. Don’t leave cooking unattended and stop using chip pans – oven chips are safer
  2. Don’t leave clothes/towels near heaters, hobs, or candles
  3. Make sure your electrical items are in working order and don’t use faulty white goods
  4. Make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them weekly

As part of a new ‘Keep Fire Safe’ campaign – which has been developed in light of the pandemic – fire service staff will be posting safety advice booklets, through letterboxes, to homes in certain areas across the county in the coming weeks.

The campaign will also see the launch of a poster drawing competition for kids – with schools now closed for the foreseeable future – and an online safety quiz. Both of which give entrants the chance to win prizes for their efforts.

A specific home safety web page has also been set up, dedicated to people who are self-isolating, working from home and generally social distancing, at www.syfire.gov.uk/keepfiresafe.

“We’d love to see as many people take part in these two competitions as possible. Not only will it give the kids something to do, it will open up really important conversations about fire safety,” added Matt.

“Hopefully we can put a smile on some faces, too. We’ve got prizes on offer for both kids and adults which should be reason enough for people to enter!”

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Keep Fire Safe – home fire safety quiz

Whether you’re self-isolating, working from home or just social distancing, the likelihood is that you will be spending more time at home over the next few weeks.

This makes it even more important to make sure you and your loved ones are safe from fire.

That’s why we’ve developed the below quiz – to test your knowledge, get you thinking about fire safety AND give you the chance to win one of two £100 Amazon vouchers that we’ve got to give away.

#KeepFireSafe - Home Fire Safety Quiz

  • This form collects some personal information - which will be used to contact the randomly selected quiz winner and subsequently be destroyed. By submitting the form you are agreeing for your data to be used in this way.
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Social distancing and self-isolation – fire safety advice

Whether you are home working, self-isolating or social distancing, we know you’ll probably be spending more time at home over the next few weeks. This could increase the chances of you having a fire in your home.

Fortunately, by taking four easy steps, you can seriously reduce the risk to you and your loved ones:

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1.Don’t leave cooking unattended – and ditch the chip pan immediately

Distraction is the leading cause of house fire nationally. In fact, most of the cooking fires we attend are down to somebody starting cooking, forgetting about it and leaving it to burn. The rest usually involve chip pans – please use oven chips instead.

2.Make sure you’re not leaving clothes, tea-towels and other items near heaters, hobs and other heat sources

Another leading cause of house fire is people leaving things like clothes and tea-towels on hobs and portable heaters. Items like these can easily set on fire so it’s vital you keep them away from naked flames and other heat sources.

3.Check electrical appliances, don’t overload sockets and NEVER use faulty items or white goods

Extension leads can only handle so much power – plug too many things in and the chances are they will blow. Faulty goods can also be a big issue, too. If your washing machine or tumble dryer starts playing up – stop using it and get it checked immediately.

4.Make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them regularly

Smoke alarms save lives, but only if you have them and they are working. They can give you an early warning of a fire – early enough for you to get out safely. Buy them. Fit them. Test them.

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During what are very challenging times for us all we’d ask that, as well as taking on board this advice yourself, you pass the messages on to your friends, neighbours and relatives – especially those over 70-years-old.

Be assured, too, that accidental house fires are very rare and our firefighters stand ready to respond to 999 calls, across South Yorkshire, as and when needed.

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Local Updates – Doncaster Community Hub

We’re pleased to be supporting the Doncaster Community Hub. This has just been opened to support the most vulnerable during these extremely challenging times. It has been established by a range of organisations and will be based at the Doncaster Culture & Leisure Trust. The hub will provide:

· Helpline available 7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm – Telephone: 01302 430300 – anyone can ring this if they are or know of someone who is vulnerable and has no other support
· Practical support such as urgent food supplies, shopping, hot food, collection of medication etc will be a priority
· Online chat, signposting and connecting people to other groups and volunteers to provide advice on exercising at home, keeping connected or just for regular contact
· A proactive team who will be calling vulnerable people to see how they are and find out if they need any support
· Helping to co-ordinate volunteers – collecting information about what voluntary and community sector can offer and supporting and co-ordinating voluntary effort
· There is also an email address: enquiries@dncommunityhub.org.uk and a web site: www.dncommunityhub.org.uk

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New Deputy Chief Fire Officer for South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority (SYFRA) has appointed a new Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

Chris Kirby was appointed following a selection process which included a written application, leadership team presentation, interview by staff group and trade union representatives and panel interview with members of the Fire Authority.

Barnsley-born Chris will join South Yorkshire later this spring from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, which he first joined as a firefighter in 1998.

The married father-of-three’s roles in West Yorkshire included acting as a breathing apparatus instructor, commanding the Kirklees district and taking charge of the service’s response and prevention work. He also led the service’s business fire safety work in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The former Wath Comprehensive School pupil also represented Rotherham at waterpolo for many years, winning the British Championships in 2008.

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Robert Taylor, said: “This was a really competitive process, but the whole panel was greatly impressed by Chris’ forward thinking and people centred approach. We are proud of the South Yorkshire’s reputation as being amongst the leading fire and rescue service’s in the country and we are confident this appointment will help the service to continually improve its service to the public.”

Chris said, “I am really pleased to be joining South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. To be able to serve the communities where I grew up is a huge privilege and I look forward to meeting the people that make the service what it is. I have always been impressed with the people I have met and I hope to support the service in being a great place to work and to deliver an outstanding service to the communities of South Yorkshire.”

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