South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire Reform Transparency Survey

Last month, the Home Secretary set out her vision for the fire and rescue service in England.

One element is to bring greater transparency to the fire and rescue sector by publishing more service information to the public online.

The Home Office is currently considering how we can deliver this commitment and is seeking views from the public on this.

The public can share their views via the online survey here

Road users urged to take more care to save injuries & lives

The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is urging all road users to consider their behaviour and to take extra care, in an effort to reduce the number of people injured or killed and to make the roads of South Yorkshire safer for everyone.

The message from the Partnership comes in the wake of last year’s road traffic collision figures, which saw a drop in the number of people getting injured on the county’s roads but a rise in the number of people getting killed.

“Although fewer people were injured last year compared to 2014, we were very disappointed to see that the number of people who were killed actually rose,” said Joanne Wehrle, the Education Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership.

“A total of 49 people of all ages lost their lives as the result of road traffic collisions across the county – 23 more than in 2014. This is extremely sad because any fatality is one too many and they leave a trail of devastation for family and friends left behind.”

She added: “The Safer Roads Partnership offers a vast range of safety courses for all ages and all road users. Whether you are a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motor-cyclist or a driver the Partnership can provide advice, training, support and information on a variety of topics. Many courses are geared to particular age groups, such as ‘Drive for Life’ for the 17 to 24 year age group, who are just about to start driving.

“However, road users, particularly car drivers and passengers, can do a lot to help and protect themselves by abiding by some key rules; drive to the conditions of the road and don’t speed, never use a mobile phone while at the wheel, don’t t drive when under the influence of drink or drugs and always ensure that you and your passengers wear a seatbelt. Remember that we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and other road users safe. Look out for other road users and respect their needs when out on the roads.”

The figures concerned the Partnership so much that in February South Yorkshire Police, in conjunction with the Safer Roads Partnership, launched Operation Illuminate as part of a determined effort to prevent further tragedies.

Chief Supt. Rob Odell, Chair of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership Board, said: “The increase in fatalities, especially those that occurred in the final few months of last year, means that both the Partnership and South Yorkshire Police must redouble our efforts to get the messages across about safer driving habits through both education and enforcement. We are targeting those road users who, as a result of their actions, may endanger themselves and others.”

In figures announced by the Safer Roads Partnership, 2015 saw a total of 4,401 casualties arising from 3,066 collisions on the roads in South Yorkshire – a drop of 3.4 percent.

Some 352 people were seriously injured in road accidents, which were 91 less than in 2014. Fewer people – 4,000 – were also slightly injured in 2015, compared to 4,088 in 2014.

There was a 3.2 per cent drop in the number of road collisions involving personal injury to 3,066. Of these, 359 involved fatal or serious injuries – 59 less than the year before.

A total of 49 people were killed, which was 23 more than the year before (2014) and which saw each of the four districts suffering an increase. Doncaster had the highest number of fatal casualties – 19, while Sheffield suffered 15, Rotherham 12 and Barnsley three.

Although each local authority area in South Yorkshire saw an increase in fatal casualties, each district also experienced a drop in the number of seriously injured compared to the year before, with both Sheffield and Doncaster having the lowest totals on record.

As in previous years, car users – drivers and passengers – experienced the highest number of casualties, although these fell from 3,026 to 2,988 in 2015. The number of car users killed or seriously injured fell to 137 but unfortunately, the number of fatal car user casualties increased to 28 in 2015, which accounted for more than half – 53 per cent – of all fatalities across the county.

Also as in previous years, car occupants were the largest casualty type at 34 per cent of all casualties, with pedestrians in second place at 29 per cent, motorcyclists at 24 per cent and pedal cycles at 11 per cent.

The number of pedestrian casualties dropped by 7.5 per cent to 570. However, the number of pedestrians getting killed increased by two to 11.

The number of casualties involving powered two wheelers – motorbikes and scooters – increased by 12 to 302 last year. The number of killed and seriously injured fell to 96 but with nine of these being fatal, seven more than in 2014.

All pedal cyclist casualties fell to 300 in 2015, along with the killed and seriously injured total falling from 57 to 44. Unfortunately, however, one pedal cyclist was killed in 2015.

There was a decrease in the number of children and young people killed or seriously injured in South Yorkshire in 2015. A total of 74, 45 of whom were pedestrians, were seriously injured – a drop of 6.2 per cent, and four were killed.

World renowned artist visits fire station after charity auction win

Aston Park fire station had a special visitor recently when Pollyanna Pickering, acclaimed as one of Europe’s foremost wildlife artists paid a visit.

Pollyanna and her daughter Anna-Louise Pickering had bought a firefighter experience day at an Age UK auction held at Aston Hall Hotel last autumn. Pollyanna was at the auction as part of her role as a Patron of Rotherham’s Gallery Town Art Project.

The firefighters at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Aston Park fire station were delighted to welcome the well known artist to the station. The day included a tour of the station and a look at the fire engines and all the equipment on board, along with trying on the firefighters uniform and wearing the breathing apparatus.

Pollyanna is the most published artist in the UK, her work sells in over 80 countries worldwide and is patron of the Wildlife Art Society International.

Pollyanna Pickering said; “It was absolutely fascinating to see behind the scenes at a working fire station and I was so impressed by the skill, bravery and dedication of the whole team.”

Station Manager Paul Bragger said; “It was a pleasure to meet Pollyanna and Anna-Louise and show them around our station and give them an insight in to the day to day running of a fire station. Fire stations remain important parts of local communities so beyond our core emergency response and prevention work, it’s important to be able to give members of the public an insight into our work.”

Firefighter For A Day Experience Aston Park White. 24-0 (88)

Awards joy for fire service funded midwife safety scheme

A fire service funded scheme to educate thousands of mums-to-be about home safety has been recognized with two top awards.

The ‘Barnsley Babies’ initiative won the Governor’s Award and Partnership Working Award at Barnsley Hospital’s Heart Awards, which celebrate the hard work and dedication of Barnsley Hospital staff and volunteers.

Following a recent successful trial in the Barnsley area, maternity units across South Yorkshire now hand out specially designed thermometers to expectant parents.

As well as telling parents when their baby’s room is at the correct temperature, the devices also display important messages about topics including home fire safety and smoke free homes. Cigarettes are a major cause of house fires and smoking in pregnancy is known to increase the risk of miscarriage, still and premature birth and other complications.

The project was awarded £23,500 under South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

Joanne Poskitt, Specialist Midwife in Drug and Alcohol Use at Barnsley Hospital, said: “We work closely with the fire service already as it is well documented that there are links between a smoking home and sudden infant death or meningitis.

“The thermometers are a practical and simple tool which will help parents provide a safe sleeping environment for baby, information on creating a smoke free home and offer the opportunity for a free home safety check. We have already been handing out the thermometers in Barnsley and is now being extended to the whole of South Yorkshire.”

White goods countdown reveals most common house fire culprits

Firefighters have released a countdown of the ten faulty ‘white goods’ responsible for the most house fires in South Yorkshire.

The figures from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are being used to highlight a growth in the number of blazes caused by electrical equipment, with tumble dryers and washing machines topping the list of causes.

Cookers, dishwashers and fridge freezers complete the top five, with large electrical items responsible for more than 200 incidents since 2011.

Last year a major product recall was issued and owners of large air-vented dryers and condensing dryers under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands were told they may need to have them fixed.

Manufacturers are required by law to notify people if they know one of their products poses a fire risk and needs to be recalled. But millions of faulty products remain in people’s homes.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “Unfortunately, we can’t get round everyone’s home to check the safety of their electrics for them. But by raising awareness of the biggest safety issues. we hope we can give people the knowledge to check their own electrics and hopefully prevent a serious fire.

“For consumers, we know that returning a recalled product is not always convenient, especially if it’s an item that you use every day, but recall notices are issued to keep people safe. The small inconvenience of returning a recalled item is worth it when you consider that faulty products can electrocute or cause a fire.”

You can sign up for product recall information at

Or for more information about the fire service’s electrical safety campaign watch our safety video

No. of call outs relating to fires involving white goods (1 January 2011 to 30 April 2016)

Tumble dryer 42

Washing machine 37

Cooker/oven 34

Dishwasher 28

Fridge/Freezer 24

Microwave oven 14

Grill/Toaster 12

Spin dryer 8

Other cooking appliance 7

Washer/Dryer combined 4

Fire safety warning over Euro 2016 house fires fear

South Yorkshire firefighters are warning the public to take extra steps to prevent house fires this summer, after revealing they have attended 150 accidental blazes during the last three football tournaments in which England have qualified.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue attended 59 house fires during the last world cup and 58 during the same month long tournament in 2010- both figures are higher than the number of incidents it attends on average each month (53). Crews attended 33 incidents during the three week Euro 2012 tournament

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “Expectations for the England football team might be relatively low this summer, but sadly we fully expect to see another rise in fires as millions settle down to watch the tournament and probably have a drink at the same time.

“Alcohol and cooking just don’t mix. It makes you uncoordinated and more likely to have a fire, and less likely to escape if you do have one. So if you’ve been to the pub to watch the match, grab a takeaway on the way home instead. And if you just can’t tear your eyes from the inevitable penalty shoot out, turn the cooker off and take the pan off the hob.”

Home fire safety tips include:

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them regularly
  • Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended
  • Never, ever use a chip pan or any other pan filled with hot oil
  • Don’t overload electric sockets– most can only take a maximum of 13 amps
  • Put out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully

E-cig safety warning after 12 blazes attended by fire service

Firefighters are warning the public about the potential dangers posed by e-cigarettes, after revealing they have tackled a dozen fires involving the devices in the last three years.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says until 2013 it hadn’t attended a single incident caused by e-cigs, but the number of fires involving vaping equipment has climbed ever since.

E-cigarettes are commonly charged via a computer USB port. Fire investigators think fires commonly start because the e-cigarette is left to charge too long, they are charged on or close to soft furnishings, or because the charger itself is faulty.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “Fires caused by e-cigarettes are an emerging trend which a few years ago simply did not exist. Whilst e-cigs may offer a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, they are so popular now we do need to make sure people know how charge them safely.

“The advice for e-cigs is really the same as for many smaller electrical appliances like mobile phones and laptops- don’t be tempted to buy cheap unbranded chargers, don’t leave them to charge whilst you are out of the house or asleep and keep them well away from flammable materials.”

Tips to prevent e-cigarette fires include:

  • charge the device on a flat, solid and stable surface, such as a kitchen worktop
  • keep the device away from flammable or combustible materials when charging
  • never leave the device on a bed or close to soft furnishings, or in a cluttered space
  • don’t exceed the recommended charging time, or leave unattended for any significant length of time

Fire officers say that whilst nearly every type of fire has reduced significantly during the last decade, thanks to safety visits and better awareness of risks, electrical incidents have stubbornly refused to drop.

Electricity is involved in about two thirds of all accidental house fires, with household appliances the most common culprits.

As part of a major campaign to reduce electrical fires, officers are encouraging people to check the safety of their home electrics by completing a short, online checklist at

Smoke alarms fitted by fire service alert Barnsley resident to house fire

A grateful Barnsley resident has thanked the fire service after smoke alarms they fitted alerted her to a blaze in her neighbour’s home.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue carried out a Home Safety Check at Susan Hey’s home on Crompton Avenue, Barnsley, fitting smoke alarms upstairs and downstairs in the property, as well as offering safety advice around common causes of fires.

Two months later, at approximately 5am, the smoke alarms awoke Susan and alerted her to a fire in an adjoining property. She was able to call 999 who advised her to leave the property, whilst crews arrived to investigate. Luckily there were no injuries and there was no fire damage to her home.

Susan Hey said “South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue offer a fantastic service- there’s no excuse not to have working smoke alarms fitted. The firefighters who came round to fit my smoke alarms were so lovely and polite – it really doesn’t take long at all. Had I not had them fitted, the outcome of this whole situation could have been very different. I haven’t stopped telling all my friends about the importance of having a working smoke alarm and testing them weekly.”

Station Manager in Community Safety, Spencer Rowland said: “This is a great example of prevention work at its best –smoke alarms allow for early detection of fires before they have devastating effects. But smoke alarms can only raise the alarm if they are working, so it’s vitally important people test them regularly to give them the peace of mind that they are ready in case the worst does happen.”

For more information on fire safety check out the rest of our website or for free reminders to test your smoke alarms visit

Fire service safety advice ahead of Islamic festival

The fire service is calling on South Yorkshire’s Muslim communities to take extra care ahead of one of the most important periods in the Islamic calendar.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue fears people are more likely to be at risk of fire during Ramadan, which begins on 7 June.

Ramadan lasts for 30 days and is observed by fasting during daylight hours, with cooking taking place before sunrise or after sunset.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “We recognise this is a really important time in the Islamic calendar, but want to make sure people observe it safely. In particular, people should take extra care to keep an eye on their cooking, as fasting could leave you feeling tired and more likely to become distracted or have an accident.

“Smoke alarms are the best way of making sure that if a fire does occur, you have the vital extra minutes to escape. So make sure smoke alarms are fitted on every level of your home and test them regularly.

“It’s also vital that if the smoke alarms do sound, everyone in the house knows what to do and knows how to escape, so talk this through with your family and loved ones.”

Top tips for staying safe during Ramadan include:

  • Cooking– Half of all house fires start in the kitchen, so take extra care when cooking, particularly with hot oil – it sets alight easily
  • Never throw water on a burning pan– in the event of a fire get out, stay out and call 999
  • Take extra care with clothing– make sure hijaabs, shalwar, kameez and saris are kept well away from the hob
  • Practise escape routes– and make sure every member of your family knows it well
  • Have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home– test them weekly to make sure they work.

Dementia project launched thanks to fire authority funding boost

A major new partnership to help tackle dementia related house fires in South Yorkshire has officially launched.

The South Yorkshire Dementia Action Alliances won funding from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve. The money is being used to support the ‘Dementia Fire and Home Safety Project’.

Under the scheme, coordinators in each of South Yorkshire’s four districts will promote fire safety to a range of organisations working with people living with dementia and their carers, in a bid to reduce the risk of fire and the associated consequences.

Part of the co-ordinators’ role includes promoting the fire service’s home safety check service, whereby trained fire service staff visit people’s homes and talk to them about preventing fires and other accidents and fit smoke alarms where needed. They will also encourage organisations to sign up to South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s ‘Safe and Well’ partnership.

The project will also work with the fire service on a safety campaign specifically targeting those living with dementia and their carers, including a number of roadshows across the county.

More than 15,000 people across South Yorkshire have been diagnosed with dementia – with thousands more thought to be undiagnosed.  Dementia is known to be a major factor involved in accidental house fires and fire related injuries and deaths.

Officers believe the project will benefit the fire service by providing a vital link with one of its key target groups in terms of vulnerability to fire.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “In the last decade, the fire service has helped to make South Yorkshire safer than it has been at any time in its history in terms of house fires and fire related deaths and injuries. But we believe we can play a much wider role in terms of tackling some of the big health challenges our country faces in the future”.

“This project is the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where we use the coordinated efforts and expertise of those at the frontline of dementia care to improve the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups in society.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is also a member of the Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Alliance, which is committed to tackling the growing issue of dementia within our communities.

Hundreds of its staff have also signed up to become Dementia Friends – a Government backed initiative which teaches people a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia, and then turns that understanding into action.

The Stronger Safer Communities Reserve fund saw dozens of registered charities, community organisations and partner agencies come forward and apply for grants from the £2 million fund, which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves.

Groups were able to bid for as little as £5,000 or as much as £150,000 to support projects which reduce injuries, save lives and make South Yorkshire safer. Key objectives for the fund include prioritising the most vulnerable, collaboration and data sharing.

South Yorkshire Dementia Action Alliance won £149,000 to support the project over two years.