South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Safer South Yorkshire Week

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is launching the first ever Safer South Yorkshire Week dedicated to our
partners across South Yorkshire.

Running from July 1-5, we will be offering free virtual fire safety awareness sessions to partners existing and new, alongside our referral training.

This training is aimed at any public facing partners/charities/organisations that may want to refer their service users to the fire service for a Home Fire Safety Visit.

To book on a session please email our partnership team.

All sessions will be delivered by Microsoft Teams and last approximately one hour.

Available Sessions:

  • Monday 1st July 10am, 1pm
  • Tuesday 2nd July 10am, 11am, 1pm
  • Wednesday 3rd July 10am, 1pm, 2pm
  • Thursday 4th July 10am, 11am, 2pm
  • Friday 5th July, 10am, 1pm

Firefighters share heartbreaking story of teenager who drowned at Ulley reservoir

Firefighters are urging young people to think again before jumping into lakes and reservoirs by sharing the heart breaking true story of Sam Haycock, a 16-year-old boy who drowned after jumping into Ulley Reservoir in Rotherham in a new water safety campaign.

The campaign, called “Sam’s Story”, centres around a short film that follows Sam on his last day and the events leading up to his tragic death (see below) and has been launched during Drowning Prevention Week, a campaign led by the Royal Life Saving Society.

“It’s the absence that gets you. One minute your son is there, looking forward to the summer holidays and the next chapter of his life at college, and then he’s gone,” says Simon Haycock, Sam’s father who set up the water safety campaign group Sam’s Army in memory of his son.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to outlive their children. I want to make sure that no other families have to go through what we went through.

“I hope that this video will make young people think first before jumping into a lake or reservoir on a hot day.”

Ade Parkin, group manager at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Sam’s story is incredibly tragic and shows just what can happen if you don’t treat water with respect.

“Water in lakes and reservoirs is often much colder than you think – even on hot days. It can cause your body to go into cold water shock, leaving you helpless in seconds. There can also be hidden currents that can overpower even strong swimmers.

“If you want to swim in open water it is best do this as part of an organised group who consider the weather and other factors that could impact safety, and take care to properly acclimatize to the water temperatures.

“Our ask is to share this video with any young people you know so that we don’t lose any more young people in the water”.

As part of the campaign the service is carrying out educational activities at Ulley Reservoir throughout June with schoolchildren from across the county.

The fire service’s advice for young people is:

  • Never jump into open bodies of water – this can cause cold water shock and impact on your ability to swim
  • Do not ‘drink and swim’ – alcohol can significantly impact your ability to swim and get to safety
  • Don’t be peer pressured into swimming where you aren’t comfortable, or if you can’t swim
  • If you get into trouble, float to live – there is advice on this below
  • If a friend gets into trouble, encourage them to float to live and call 999 immediately

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Yorkshire Water back NFCC Be Water Aware campaign

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is backing this year’s Be Water Aware campaign by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), by urging people not to enter its reservoirs.

Running from 22nd – 28th April, the campaign, which is also backed by Yorkshire Water, aims to raise awareness about the risk of accidental drowning and encourage considerate behaviour around bodies of water.

The latest figures indicate there were 226 accidental drowning deaths in 2022 across the UK with six taking place in Yorkshire (three in West Yorkshire, two in South Yorkshire, and one in North Yorkshire). 60% of all accidental drownings in the UK occurred inland, at reservoirs, lakes and river.

The NFCC campaign outlines that many people underestimate the risk of entering the water: Yorkshire Water see people entering its 130 reservoirs daily, despite warnings about the danger that reservoirs can pose.

With the effects of cold-water shock and unseen hazards like operating machinery and hidden undercurrents, even the strongest swimmers can get into difficulties.

Ade Parkin, Group Manager in South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Community Safety Department, said: “Open water can be incredibly dangerous if it is not treated with respect. Attending water rescue incidents can be incredibly traumatic for our crews and members of the public.

“It can be tempting to cool off but do you really want it to be the last thing you do?”

Alastair Harvey, lead countryside and woodland advisor at Yorkshire Water, said: “With the summer approaching, we’re expecting to see an increase in numbers of people wanting to swim. We know how dangerous it can be to enter open bodies of water, like our reservoirs, and would urge everyone to take note of warnings at our sites.”

Out of all 2022 accidental drownings, 40% of people had no intention of ever entering the water – slips, trips and falls were commonly the cause of these incidents.

“Water safety goes beyond choosing not to swim or paddle to cool off – it’s also about remaining vigilant around the water, particularly if you are looking after children. We are once again backing the NFCC campaign to raise awareness of water safety behaviours and measures.”

“If people see others in difficulty in the water, they should contact the emergency services on 999 as they are trained to deal with such events.”

Get more water safety advice

Fire service marks new law anniversary with high-rise residential buildings plea

The fire service is calling on those responsible for South Yorkshire’s high-rise residential buildings to get in touch, a year after new regulations came into force.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says barely more than one in 10 owners or managers of the relevant buildings have supplied it with information they are now legally responsible for providing.

The law requires people responsible for buildings of 18m in height, or at least seven storeys, containing two or more domestic dwellings, to provide information to fire and rescue services including building plans, defective lifts and details of external wall systems.

The information is intended to help the fire service plan and provide an effective response hem plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin, said: “These regulations were introduced to meet the majority of the recommendations made in the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry, which required a change in the law. Even though the regulations came into force more than a year ago now, we’re still yet to hear from a large number of building owners or managers for whom the law applies to.

“Ultimately, the regulations are there to ensure that if a fire does occur in high-rise premises, we can tackle the incident safely. We will be contacting owners and managers we’ve not yet heard from to ensure compliance.”

The Fire Safety Regulations (England) 2022 came into force on 23 January 2023.

Further information about the new regulations and what you need to do is available on the Government website which includes a series of fact sheets which provide more detailed information.

Responsible persons can share the required information here.

Calling all young artists! Show us your scary in poster design competition

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is calling out to all young artists to design a spooky or scary poster about being fire safe in the kitchen.

The competition is the first part of our “Kitchen Nightmares” campaign that will be running throughout the autumn. Children aged between 6-12 are invited to take part.

Our advice to help you avoid a kitchen nightmare is:

  • Keep electrical leads, cardboard and fabrics well away from the hob and keep ovens, hobs and grills clean from grease and crumbs
  • Keep an eye on cooking at all times and never leave it unattended
  • Switch off cooking appliances when you’ve finished cooking and gone to bed

Drop off your work at our Command Headquarters in Sheffield or you can post them to us!

Please ensure you have written your name, the name of your parent or guardian and their best contact number on the back of the submission. This is so we can get in touch with the winner and arrange for you to collect your prize.

Artwork can be accepted on paper, canvas or thin card and should be unframed. If you want to mount your work (card surround/frame) this will be accepted.

Looking for inspiration? Here’s our safety advice to help get you thinking

FAQs

What work can I submit?

  • Your work can be mixed media, drawing, painting
  • You might have created this work on your own or together at school or with friends.
  • Artwork can be accepted on paper, canvas or thin card and should be unframed. If you want to mount your work (card surround/frame) this will be accepted.
  • Maximum size A2.
  • One artwork per person.
  • Collaborative pieces from school/community groups are welcome.

How do I enter my artwork?

Enter by Wednesday October 25 by dropping off your entry at the reception at our CHQ building or post your artwork to: Corporate Communications, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield S1 3FG

Please ensure you have written your name, the name of your parent or guardian and their best contact number on the back of the submission. This is so we can get in touch with the winner and arrange for you to collect your prize.

You could wrap your entry in bubble wrap, put it in an envelope and place it between two bits of card.

Whatever you decide ensure it protects your work.

If submitting a collaborative piece please remember to list of all the artists’ names so we can display them correctly.

What happens next?

All entries will be exhibited in the Winter Gardens between Friday 27 October and Thursday 2 November and the winner will receive a Lego Fire Station set.

Come down and see your artwork, bring your friends and family. The Winter Garden is open 8am-8pm (10-5pm Sundays).

How do I get my artwork back?

  • Return in a stamped self-addressed envelope I have included (I have included a stamp that covers the weight of the artwork).
  • Collect from our Command Headquarters building, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield between Friday 3 November and Friday 10 November 8.30am – 4pm.

Please note: any work not collected by 4pm on Friday 10 November will be recycled.

Contact Us

Contact press@syfire.gov.uk if you have any questions or queries about the competition.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue urge businesses to make fire safety a priority

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue will be offering small and medium sized businesses a range of advice during the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) Business Safety Week, which runs from 11th – 17th September.

The week aims to help businesses understand their fire safety responsibilities so they remain safe, legal, and compliant. Many fires in the workplace are preventable and some businesses never recover after a fire. Helping businesses to manage their fire risks and hazards, and potentially to save lives and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss is of key importance.

Simple measures to reduce risks of a fire starting and ensuring staff know how to respond in the right way can help to keep people safe and makes business sense. At this time of year many businesses will be preparing for the Christmas period and may also be impacted by the cost of living crisis. It’s important that businesses consider the risk of fire in any changes they make and ensure all staff are aware of fire safety in the workplace.

From 1st October new fire safety legislation comes into effect in England and Wales. This will mean that many businesses and building owners need to check if and how this affects them to ensure they are complying with the regulations. The main changes are:

  • All businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of business.
  • There are increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi occupied buildings or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.
  • In residential buildings with two or more domestic premises residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe.

The campaign week will highlight these changes and highlight the advice that name of FRS can provide to ensure they remain complaint with the law.

There’s plenty of advice and support for businesses from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service so we encourage anyone that has questions or may not be sure about fire safety to contact us so we can help.

Gavin Tomlinson, NFCC’s Protection and Business Safety Committee Chair, said: “Fire and rescue services are committed to helping all types of businesses reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and be compliant with fire safety law. We don’t expect businesses to be experts that’s’ why we are here to provide help and advice. We encourage any business to work with their fire service to help prevent fires to help them remain productive, safe and legal.”

SYFR swimmers smash fundraising target

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is celebrating after raising more than £1,400 from the Big SYFR Swim – smashing the £1,000 target.

Staff from across the organisation swam the equivalent of the perimeter of South Yorkshire (170 miles) to raise money for two incredible causes – The Fire Fighters Charity and The Royal Life Saving Society.

From frontline firefighters to corporate staff, each pledged to swim anything from 100 metres to several miles to support the challenge which ran from 22-29 May.

So far more than £1,400 has been raised but the final figure is expected to be over £1,700 once gift aid donations have been confirmed.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby said: “Well done to everyone who took part in this swimming event and raised so much money for these two fantastic charities.

“Every life lost is one too many. That’s why we decided to support the Royal Life Saving Society and the work they do in helping people learn how to swim and enjoy the water safely.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK has a proud history of helping to reducing the number of lives lost to drowning.

Their mission is to be the leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding in the UK and Republic of Ireland, aiming to give everyone the potential to save lives and enjoy water, safely.

“I’m delighted that we are also supporting the Fire Fighters Charity who do such amazing work for firefighters and their families across the UK.”

The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to live happier and healthier lives.

The charity supports serving fire service personnel and their families as well as those who are retired and provides them with information, advice and support whenever they need it.

Visit our website for more information about how to enjoy water, safely.

Fire service sprinkler plea as national week marked

The fire service is calling for the widespread adoption of sprinklers by businesses, schools and care homes, as it marks a national awareness week.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has tackled 1,065 fires in non-domestic properties over the last three years. The most serious of these incidents can take fire engines several hours to tackle, as well as potentially putting the company involved out of business.

But business fire safety officers say fire sprinklers are the most effective way to suppress or even extinguish a before the fire service can arrive.

Sprinklers save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.

Business fire safety manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “A sprinkler system can quickly suppress a fire before it gets out of control. When you consider the huge costs associated with a commercial premise fire such as rebuilding, relocation, loss of equipment, stock and trading, it seems like an obvious move to install a sprinkler system, but many businesses still don’t.”

The fire service, through the National Fire Chief’s Council, is currently campaigning for this threshold under which businesses must legally install sprinklers to be lowered- as well as calling for sprinklers to be installed in care homes and specialised housing, schools and student accommodation.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has already helped pioneer a drive for sprinklers to be installed in residential properties. In 2011, sprinklers were retro-fitted into a block of flats in Gleadless after a grant from the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association. It was the first scheme of its kind in the country.

It has also provided funding to support the installation of sprinklers in high-risk domestic premises- like care homes and refuges- in a bid to protect vulnerable residents using the Fire Authority’s Safer Stronger Communities Reserve (SSCR).

“We’ve already had several success stories as a result of the sprinkler projects we’ve supported in South Yorkshire. In all of these incidents a fire has occurred, but the presence of sprinklers has drastically reduced the amount of damage and potentially saved lives,” said Amy.

Fire Sprinkler Week (15 to 21 May), coordinated nationally by the National Fire Chief’s Council, seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of sprinklers to businesses, high-risk domestic premises and educational establishments.

Safety advice for businesses over the festive period

We know this is a very difficult time for everyone, including businesses, but it is vital that your business, and the people working for you, remain safe from fire.

With the Christmas period upon us we’ve put together some fire safety advice to help keep your business and those within the premises safe.

If you’re considering the introduction of any Christmas decorations into your premises over the festive period you should consider the following advice and also review your fire safety risk assessment before decorating.

Some of our key, general tips are:

  • Do not place Christmas trees, decorations or lights in the means of escape
  • Do not obstruct escape routes or escape doors
  • Do not obstruct or obscure fire escape signage, fire fighting equipment, emergency lighting, break glass call points, fire alarms sounders, emergency isolation points etc. with decorations.

Reviewing your fire safety risk assessment

Christmas decorations may increase the fire loading (flammable items/materials) and fire risk in your premises.

Your fire safety risk assessment should therefore be reviewed by a competent person prior to putting festive decorations in your premises.

There are five key steps to a fire risk assessment:

  • Identify the fire hazards
  • Identify people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
  • Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan & provide training
  • Review and update regularly

More information on fire safety risk assessments can be found here.

Decorations

Take care with decorations and trees. Always use flame resistant/fire retardant products:

  • Decorations made of paper, cardboard and cotton wool should not be used – they are extremely flammable and can burn easily
  • Any Christmas decorations should be non-flammable/fire retardant – fire retardant decorations are available from suppliers
  • Positioning of decorations should not be in close proximity to sources of ignition
  • Decorations must not obstruct or obscure fire escape signage, firefighting equipment or other safety features

Christmas trees

  • If you have a natural Christmas tree ensure that it is watered daily because a Christmas tree which has dried out can be highly flammable
  • Avoid placing Christmas trees in areas where they could be easily knocked over
  • Christmas trees should be placed in a suitable stable container to prevent it from falling over
  • Christmas trees should never be put in positions where they obstruct or obscure escape routes or escape doors, fire escape signage, firefighting equipment or other safety features
  • Do not place Christmas trees, decorations or lights in the means of escape

Electrical lights and decorations

  • Don’t overload electrical circuits
  • All electrical lighting and electrical decorations should be tested before use by a competent person
  • All electrical lighting and electrical decorations should conform to the relevant British Safety Standard (marked with the appropriate Kite or CE mark)
  • Do not place electrical lights or electrical decorations in close proximity to combustible materials
  • Switch all Christmas decorations off at night

Extra stock over the festive period

  • Storage of extra stock should be considered by your fire risk assessment
  • All means of escape, doors, routes, stairways must be kept clear and unobstructed – goods and excess packaging should not be allowed to reduce widths in these areas – even temporarily
  • If you have extra stock you should ensure you have capacity to store the stock safely without blocking the means of escape or any fire exit doors or impinge upon any fire door which has to be kept clear or closed
  • Do not wedge open fire doors
  • You should make sure stock is not in close proximity to ignition sources, or too close to smoke detectors or sprinkler heads as this could affect their operation

Staff training

  • It is essential that all permanent staff and additional staff who may be employed on a temporary basis to cover this busy period are adequately trained regarding the action to be taken in the event of a fire and are made familiar with all fire precautions applicable to your building

Capacity

  • Do not exceed the recommended occupancy limits for your premises (your occupancy limits should be identified in your fire risk assessment)

Covid–19 and fire safety

Should you require further fire safety information please visit our business advice pages.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team please contact your local fire safety officer.

For safety advice in the home please click here.

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.