South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire Authority business safety project launched

South Yorkshire is the launch pad this month for a major initiative designed to improve fire safety for small and medium enterprises.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce has launched the Business Fire Safety Project to reduce the impact of fires on business stability and development.

This project received funding from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s Stronger Safer Communities Reserve to assist local businesses to become more engaged in fire safety awareness.

Fire Authority Chairman Councillor Jim Andrews said: “The fire service in South Yorkshire has already helped to make our communities safer than they have been at any time in our history, but it’s important those successes are replicated in a commercial context. By supporting partners like Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber, we think the Authority can make a big contribution to helping to protect businesses from fire which will in turn help to support a thriving local economy.”

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “We will be working closely with the fire service, local authorities and partners in South Yorkshire and will support businesses to become more informed and controlled in dealing with fire safety issues, helping businesses to help themselves. We’re targeting a range of businesses across South Yorkshire to continue to reduce the risk of fires in commercial and industrial settings.”

The key initiative of the project is to establish robust fire safety cultures within businesses that aim to protect employees and ensure business continuity. The project has established a specialist business support service, dedicated to increasing the uptake of fire safety advice by delivering presentations, providing guidance and business toolkits. The project will also support the adoption of in house Fire Safety Ambassadors to more effectively manage fire risks in smaller businesses who have less awareness of fire safety issues.

“Any drive to encourage more businesses to adopt improved safety practices can only serve to protect employees, business continuity and future growth,” said Andrew.

He goes on to point out that many businesses may not have fire safety at the top of their business priority list, and some are not familiar with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In order to foster good fire safety cultures within businesses, it is important for them to understand the Order to ensure they are compliant.

“We hope our initiative will assist the South Yorkshire Fire Authority to continue reducing fires and the risk of fires at business premises.”

Any businesses looking for advice, guidance or support surrounding fire safety can contact Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber on 01709 386200 to discuss how the project can assist.

Safety call as student landlords failing to fix fire risks

Fire officers are urging the tens of thousands of new and returning students arriving in Sheffield this week to report accommodation safety concerns to their landlords.

Research from Electrical Safety First has shown negligent landlords and letting agents are failing to address common safety concerns, which could result in fires.

The charity found that:

  • 1 in 4 students experienced faulty electrics in their private rented accommodation
  • 37% of landlords failed to fix exposed wiring
  • 35% never rectified damp, condensation or flooding around electrics
  • 30% didn’t resolve issues around sockets and light fittings

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue say that whilst standards of rented accommodation for students in Sheffield are generally improving, students should stay vigilant and be bold in reporting safety any concerns.

Head of community safety Kevin Ronan, said: “Our message to students is that you shouldn’t have to put up with poor safety standards in your rented property. Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that your electrical installation is kept in repair and proper working order. So keep an eye out for constant tripping of fuses, flickering lights and scorching around sockets.

“Most freshers will be living in well managed halls of residence or private student accommodation complexes. But many more returning students will be heading into the private rented sector for the first time and should report any concerns to their landlords to prevent fires.”

Other top fire safety tips for students include:

  • Ensure that your property is fitted with a working smoke alarm. Test the alarm upon arrival in your house and again at regular intervals throughout the year.
  • Make sure your landlord or fellow housemates do not store anything on top of your microwave as they can cause it to overheat.
  • Don’t attempt to cook after a night out drinking- buy a takeaway on the way home instead

Firefighters to hold charity car wash

Firefighters across South Yorkshire will be washing cars over the coming weeks as part of a national charity event.

The event is aimed at raising money for The Fire Fighter’s Charity, which supports injured firefighters and their families.

Car wash events will be held at the following stations:

• Barnsley Station, Broadway, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 6RA – Sunday 13th – 11am onwards

• Aston Park Station, Worksop Road, Aston, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S26 2FZ – Saturday 12th 10:30am onwards

• Dearne Station, Manvers Way, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S63 5DN – Saturday 12th – 10am to 2pm

• Maltby Station, High Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S66 8LA – Sunday 20th from 11am onwards

• Birley Moor Station, Moor Valley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S20 5FA – Saturday 12th – 10am to 4pm

• Central Station, Eyre Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 3FG (for sat nav use S1 3HU) – Saturday 12th – 11am onwards

• Elm Lane Station, Elm Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S5 7TU – Saturday (12th) morning till 1pm

• Lowedges Station, Lowedges Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S8 7JN – Saturday 12th – 11am onwards

As well as washing cars, firefighters will also be on hand to offer road and fire safety advice, along with promoting their free Home Safety Checks.

Station Manager Steve Adams said: “Not only will members of the public drive away with nice clean cars, but our firefighters will also be offering safety advice, whilst raising money for a very worthy cause.”

Robot Wars visit fire station

A Sheffield fire station had some unusual guests recently when robots from the popular Robot Wars television programme paid a visit.

It was all in aid of an event hosted by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, as part of a Get Started with Robotics programme being delivered in partnership with youth charity The Prince’s Trust.

Get Started is a personal development programme, for 16-25 year olds. It uses inspiring themes to engage with young people who are not in education or employment to take their first step to increase their confidence, skills and employability.

As well as teaching young people new specialist skills, the programme also widens and develops their personal and social skills.

The group of thirteen young people built their own robots and pitched them against each other in various challenges. At the end of the week long course the young people attended the demonstration by the famous robots, which were supplied by Roaming Robots, in the yard at Central fire station.

Station Manager Trevor Bernard said; “We were really happy to accommodate the robot display. As one of The Prince’s Trust partners we were really excited to see the Robot Wars in action.”

Kimberley Hendon, Get Started – Programme Executive, The Prince’s Trust said; “Throughout every programme we incorporate a real and meaningful group task, which challenges the young people and helps to develop their personal and social skills. By the end of the week, our aim is give young people a renewed sense of motivation and direction, to inspire them to move forward with their lives. We then continue to provide them with ongoing support for three to nine months to help engage them in education, employment or training.”

Robots - Princes Trust 031

Businesses urged to train seasonal staff in fire safety

Businesses should train their staff now to help businesses avoid a serious fire this Christmas, the fire service has warned.

Retailers, bars and hotels are amongst the businesses expected to start taking on thousands of temporary staff to cope with an increase in trade in the run up to the winter, seasonal peak.

Fire officers say that fire safety knowledge should be a key part of their initial training, with December considered a peak month for fire risks, including extra stock and winter shutdown periods

The warning comes during UK Business Safety Week (7 to 13 September). The awareness week, coordinated nationally by the Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA), seeks to get businesses to engage with local fires services to help manage their fire risk, get advice on completing fire risk assessments and ensure business continuity.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties over the last three years.

Top safety tips for businesses include:

Keep fire escapes clear– make sure extra stock is stored away from fire escapes, ensuring staff and customers can get out safely in the event of a fire
Check alarm systems– regular checks and maintenance help to eliminate automatic false alarms and ensure the alarm is working if required
Complete a fire risk assessment– not only will it help to reduce the risk of suffering a fire in the first place, it will help make sure you comply with fire safety laws
Sprinklers– consider installing sprinklers, but make sure you leave a good distance between your stock and sprinkler heads

SYFR Technical fire safety manager, Amy Jenkinson, said: “A fire in a business can put staff and customers’ lives at risk, damage stock and premises and make it impossible for a company to carry out its day-to-day work, impacting not only on the business itself, but on its employees, suppliers and customers.”

“We know that many businesses will be starting to take on temporary employees now. All we ask is that they deliver training in some basic fire safety procedures, like keeping fire escapes clear and making sure alarm systems are working properly. This can help businesses avoid serious incident and help ensure they comply with the law.”

For more information contact or visit

Edlington fire station seeks new cadets

Edlington fire station is looking to recruit new members to its fire cadet team.

The cadets train at the station once a week, learning firefighting skills and techniques from specially qualified instructors.

Cadets also enrol on to the Routes 4 U education package, which covers the employability skills needed to work within the health and emergency services. Youngsters work towards a recognised qualification at the end of a 12 month course.

Fire Cadets also play a key role at community events, and attend team-building days throughout the year.

Recruits can be aged 13 to 17. The cadets meet every Wednesday from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.

Edlington Fire Cadet Branch Manager Daryl Aitken said: “We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated youngsters who are eager to work with our fire cadet instructors to learn new skills, and support the fire service’s work in the local community. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience of fire station life and to work closely with local firefighters.”

For more information, contact email

Water safety warning ahead of bank holiday weekend

Firefighters are urging the public not to swim in lakes and reservoirs this weekend, with warmer weather set to return.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says it has attended 282 water related incidents since 2012. Most were flooding or animal related, but 49 incidents involved rescuing people from open water. People died in three of those incidents.

Safety officers say people should avoid open water- like rivers and lakes- because they may not always be aware of the danger it poses. River flows can be unpredictable and water is often deeper, colder and faster than expected. People should enjoy water safely in swimming pools or safer, specialist facilities instead.

Head of community safety Kevin Ronan, said: “We regularly receive 999 calls in the summer about people getting into difficulty in water, so it’s only a matter of time before someone’s safety is really put at risk unless people listen to our advice.

“It can be tempting to cool off in the summer months, but stick to a swimming pool. Hundreds of people drown each year in the UK and places like rivers, lakes or flooded quarries are completely unsuitable for swimming as they hide a number of hidden dangers.”

Over 400 people die in the water every year in the UK, and firefighters are urging people to follow some basic rules to stay safe.

The dangers of open water are:

  • The water can be much deeper than you expect
  • Rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs are much colder than you think
  • Open water can carry water borne diseases, like Weils disease
  • Cold water dramatically affects your ability to swim
  • There may be hidden currents, which can pull you under the water
  • You don’t know what lies beneath, like pieces of rubbish or reeds which can trap or injure you

Schools urged to install sprinklers as number of fire revealed

Fire officers are calling on the region’s schools to consider installing sprinkler systems, after attending more than 50 blazes in two years.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says many of the incidents were deliberately started fires on school grounds, such as bin and grass fires.

But other incidents involved school buildings, prompting safety officers to issue their warning.

Technical fire safety manager, Amy Jenkinson, said: “When you consider the huge costs associated with a school fire such as rebuilding, temporary relocation, loss of equipment and pupil’s academic work, it seems like an obvious move to install a sprinkler system, but many schools still don’t.

“Above everything else, sprinklers give added protection to the pupils and staff at the school, and the firefighters who respond to tackle the fire.”

The fire service was called to 59 incidents at schools between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2015. Of these, 15 started accidentally whilst 43 were arson and one was an unknown cause.

Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive. They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to property.

Sprinklers also reduce environmental damage by limiting the amount of smoke which enters the atmosphere and reducing water runoff from firefighting.

In 2012 firefighters attended a blaze at the then newly opened Parkwood Academy in the early hours of the morning, but a sprinkler system activated immediately, containing the fire and raising the alarm.

In contrast, a fire at Campsmount school in Doncaster in 2009 caused millions of pounds worth of damage and the entire facility had to be rebuilt. The school did not have sprinklers fitted.

Fire also destroyed Edlington Comprehensive School, which had recently closed, in January 2009.

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.

Fire Service volunteers jump for charity

Two brave South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) volunteers will be taking part in a charity skydive in aid of Rotherham Hospice.

Rob Hall (21) and Chelsea Hall (20) have been volunteering at SYFR for the past two years, working with the Fire Cadets at Rotherham station. They wanted to raise money for Rotherham Hospice after the charity supported Chelsea and her family through her grandmother’s illness.

Rotherham Hospice is committed to providing the highest standard of end of life care for patients and families affected by terminal illness over the age of 18.

Joining them on the day (Sunday 27 September) and also taking part in the skydive is Rob Lee a Mechanic at SYFR. In total they are aiming to raise £2,000.

Rob Hall said, “I’ve always wanted to take part in a skydive and thought it would be a brilliant idea to do it for charity. Although I am nervous, I am really looking forward it as well. The Rotherham Hospice is a fantastic organisation which offers end of life care for patients and their families.”

Sue Butler, Volunteering Co-ordinator at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said; “This is going to be a real challenge for them. It’s all for a really good cause though and I am so proud of them all.”

To donate, please visit their JustGiving page

If you are interested in volunteering for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue call 0114 253 2413.

From Budapest to Barnsley – firefighters aim to raise £11,000 for charity

Firefighters will soon be taking on the challenge of cycling through 11 countries in 11 days, hoping to raise £11,000 for two local charities.

Dave Camp, Ryan Frost and Darren Middleton, who are based at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s station in Barnsley, will soon be undertaking this test of endurance to raise funds for Barnsley Hospice and the Yorkshire charity Candlelighters.

Covering a total distance of 1200 miles, the team will begin their ride in Hungary’s capital city Budapest on Monday 14 September.

They will then travel through Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland before finishing the ride back here in the UK 11 days later.

“We’ve seen firsthand the amazing work Barnsley Hospice do caring for people and we wanted to do something to help them,” said crew manager Dave Camp.

“We all live and work in the area so it’s understandable this is a charity very close to our hearts.”

“Candlelighters specifically help children suffering with cancer and offer a vital support network for the parents and families affected.

“After our own experiences of seeing how they both do an incredible job of supporting people, we spoke about how we could help them at work and the idea just evolved.”

The team will be supported by fellow firefighter Andrew Braddock and recent retiree Phil Powell, who will follow the trio in a van through terrain including the Grossglockner – the highest road through the Alps located in Austria.

“We’ve been training quite hard in preparation for riding 120 miles a day, but there’s only so such you can do,” said Dave.

“We’ve done a lot of cycling locally and over the Pennines, but you can’t exactly replicate the mountains of the Alps.”

Vicky Stead, Barnsley Hospice Community Fundraiser said: “Everyone at Barnsley Hospice is amazed by the challenge they are undertaking and thrilled that they have chosen to raise funds for the hospice.

“We wish them all the best for the ride and look forward to following their journey each day. We simply couldn’t continue to provide the care our patient’s need without the support of the community and fundraisers like Dave, Ryan, Darren, Andrew and Phil”.

The team is hoping to raise £11,000 for their efforts and you can sponsor them by clicking the link below.

Donate now