South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Barnsley residents safer in their home thanks to Fire Service funding

A charity scheme is helping to improve the quality of private rented accommodation for residents in Barnsley.

Groundwork is a Barnsley charity which aims to improve accommodation in deprived communities and to improve the health and well being of residents.

The scheme was awarded £63,500 under the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

The project will employ two full time staff who will visit residents in private rented accommodation offering advice and support on safety issues within their home. As well as offering improvements to the energy efficiency of the properties, Groundwork will also check smoke alarms and fire blankets in kitchens, where appropriate, to help minimise and maintain the safety in the home now and in the future.

Phil Hayes at Groundwork said; “The funding received from South Yorkshire Fire Authority makes this project, which is in partnership with the Safer Community Team at Barnsley Council, possible and will ensure that Barnsley residents are safer and more prepared for an emergency in their home”.

SYFR Head of Prevention & Protection Steve Helps said: “Engaging with residents in their own home is one of the best ways to offer home safety advice. Working together with charities and other public agencies on initiatives like this is one of the best ways we can reach those most at risk of fire and helps us deliver our safety messages to residents in private rented accommodation.”

The Stronger Safer Communities Reserve 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.

Business fire safety plea as enforcement action soars

The fire service is calling on South Yorkshire businesses to do more to learn about their responsibilities under safety laws, after reporting a steep rise in cases where the strongest form of enforcement action has been taken.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says it has served 10 prohibition notices on businesses since April 2015, compared to just six in the whole of the previous two years.

Prohibition notices are served where an inspector considers that in the event of a fire the risk to people using a premises is so serious that use of the building should be prohibited or restricted.

The notice may stop the use of all or part of the premises immediately or after a specified time and not allow it to be used until action has been taken to correct the issue.

Continued use of the building is a criminal offence and can result in a prosecution under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Technical fire safety manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “Our aim is always to engage with local businesses in a positive way and to work with them to make improvements before we have to resort to closing part or all of a building, or resort to criminal prosecution.

“But the recent increase in the number of prohibition notices served is worrying and we’d urge business owners to take the time to learn about their responsibilities under fire safety legislation and complete a fire risk assessment to reduce the likelihood of suffering a serious incident which could put their business and their people in danger.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties in 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 as not only reduce death and injury from fire, but also protect property and heritage.

Firefighters test response to Supertram emergency with realistic live training exercise

Firefighters have taken part in a major training exercise in Sheffield to test their response to an incident involving the city’s tram network.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue worked with Stagecoach Supertram on the live training scenario, which involved a casualty being trapped under one of the vehicles.

Herdings Park tram stop was closed for several hours for the exercise, which also involved paramedics from Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Station manager Darren Perrot, said: “We’d like to thank the public for their understanding in allowing us to close a small part of the tram network in Sheffield for a few hours so we could complete this important training exercise. We’re also extremely grateful to Stagecoach Supertram for making the exercise as realistic as possible and providing some vital technical input on the day.

“Our firefighters are ready to respond to a huge number of different incident types, from fires to road traffic collisions. We issue lots of guidance to our crews about the different sorts of scenarios they might come across in the line of duty, but really the best way of preparing our response is to test it out for real.”

Katie Arthur, Safety Manager for Stagecoach Supertram said, “We are grateful to our passengers for their patience during this operation that involved staff, both at depot and on site working with colleagues from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.  Safety is always our number one priority and exercises like these are vital in enabling us to test our emergency responses and gain crucial experience of working with our emergency service partners.”

117 tumble dryer fires prompt safety sign up plea

The fire service is urging people to sign up to receive alerts when faulty electrical products are recalled, after revealing it has attended more than 100 blazes involving tumble dryers in the last five years.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says it has attended 117 house fires involving tumble dryers since 2011, with faults with appliances responsible for three quarters of the incidents.

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.

Other faulty household electrical goods which can be common causes of fires include washing machines, fridges and smaller items like phone chargers and hair dryers.

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.

More than 300 different recalled electrical items, including frequently used products such as phone charges and adapters, kitchen appliances, hairdryers and washing machines have been recalled since 2011, but the success rate for recalls is rarely more than 20 per cent.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “Registering an appliance ensures you receive important safety messages about the item you possess.

“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 find out whether an electrical product you own has been recalled via the Electrical Safety Council website

You can sign up for product recall information at

South Yorkshire firefighters helping to save lives in Moldova with equipment donation

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is helping to reduce road deaths in Moldova by donating equipment used to cut people free from road crashes.

The service has given its old Zumro cutting gear to a UK fire service humanitarian charity working to in the country improve survival rates from road traffic collisions.

In 2012 there were 2,712 recorded road traffic collisions in the Republic of Moldova, causing 441 deaths. This makes the country’s fatality rate for RTCs more than 10 times that of the UK’s.

Factors contributing to this are the length of time for rescue assistance to reach incidents, a lack of necessary equipment to respond effectively to incidents, and gaps in knowledge of those responding to incidents.

Operation Florian is a project created with an aim to combat this and help bring down the number of fatalities. Fire services across the UK regularly donate equipment and provide training to help achieve this.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Martin Blunden, said: “This is a great cause that I feel really passionate about. The road death casualty rates in Moldova are unacceptably high and I think we have a duty in the developed world to share learning with firefighters there to help save lives. People should be safe in the knowledge that emergency services are there to support them in a time of need, regardless of where in the world they live. It makes perfect sense to donate equipment like this to help support that aim.”

Fire Service donates water safety equipment to charity

Firefighters have donated new equipment to the Swinton Lock Activity Centre which offers educational and leisure daytrips on their narrowboat to youngsters.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has given the charity two water throwlines to assist with the safety on the boat.

Swinton Lock Activity Centre is a community based arts, education and activity centre next to the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation Canal at Swinton.  They provide a wide range of activities for young people including fishing, arts and crafts, spraycan art and boat handling on their own narrowboat which is used for residential and accredited boat handling courses.

A number of the youngsters who attend the centre have been involved in anti social behaviour such as fire setting and other behavioural issues and find it difficult to integrate into schools.  The centre helps them develop their social skills by offering a variety of activities to take part in which helps to build their confidence.

Crew Manager Adam Dilkes, a firefighter at Rotherham fire station, has been attending the centre for the past two years talking to the youngsters about fire safety and promoting a positive image of the fire service.

Crew Manager Adam Dilkes said; “I am really pleased that we have been able to help the centre by giving them this life saving equipment, and that I also get the chance to educate them of fire safety issues and give advice on life experiences while encouraging the youngsters to think about their behaviour and the effects of it.”

Sharon Cooke, from Swinton Lock Activity Centre, said: “The staff, boat volunteers and crew of Swinton Lock Activity Centre would like to say a massive thank you to South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue for donating brand new throwing lines for use on our canal boats. They are a crucial piece of life saving equipment to have when the boat is in use and for training purposes. Working on and right beside the canal makes water safety a priority for us all.

“As a small independent Charity the help and support no matter how big or small, provided by the local community, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and local business has a huge impact and enables us to help and support others.”

Fire service delivers safety advice to Page Hall residents

The fire service has launched a fresh drive to make homes safer in the Page Hall area of Sheffield.

Community safety staff at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are visiting residents and carrying out home safety checks, thanks to the services of a translator provided by a local lettings agent.

Global Lettings, which is based in the area, has donated the services of a translator to help fire service staff communicate with the area’s largely Roma and Roma-Slovak community.

SYFR Area Manager Steve Helps said: “South Yorkshire is safer from fire than it’s been at any time in its history, but it’s important that we continue to target our safety advice at all sections of the community, including new migrants.

“During a home safety check, fire service staff speak to residents about how to prevent common causes of fire like cooking and electrics and fit smoke alarms where needed.”

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Fire service launches safety campaign as growth in electrical fires revealed

A rise in electrical fires across South Yorkshire has been blamed on everything from phone chargers to e-cigs.

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.

There were 190 house fires involving electricity in 2014/15, up from 165 the previous year and 150 in 2012/13. The kitchen is the most likely room in the house where electrical fires will start.

Sometimes fires are caused by faulty goods, which could be small items like mobile chargers, or big things like washing machines and dryers.

Fires are also caused by people misusing electrical appliances, for example by leaving them plugged in for too long or covering them up allowing them to overheat.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “This isn’t about scaremongering but about making sure that consumers have all the available safety information. The vast majority of electrical goods are manufactured to very high safety standards, but sometimes if they are misused or if there is a fault with the device they can start a fire.

“The simple truth is that homes have more small electrical devices in them than probably any time in our history- from tablets and mobile phones, to e-cigarettes and games consoles. 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.”

The fire service has issued the following advice to stop fires:

  • Don’t buy cheap, unbranded chargers and make sure chargers are compatible to the device you are using
  • Don’t leave things to charge overnight or beyond the recommended charging time. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Keep electrical items away from flammable materials when charging
  • Don’t overload sockets– long, strip adaptors are safest, but can only take a total of 13 amps

Officers are also encouraging visitors to check the safety of their home electrics by completing a short, online checklist at 

The fire service’s campaign will see advertising vans carry key safety messages to areas of South Yorkshire known to experience high numbers of house fires.

Fire stations seek new cadets

Three Sheffield fire stations are looking to recruit new members to their fire cadet teams.

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

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

The three Sheffield stations currently recruiting are:

• Lowedges Fire Station, Lowedges Road, Sheffield S8 7JN
• Birley Moor Fire Station, Moor Valley, Sheffield S20 5FA
• Elm Lane Fire Station, Elm Lane, Sheffield S5 7TU

New recruits must be aged 13 to 18 years old.

Youth Engagement Officer Nicola Hobbs 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, email Nicola Hobbs at

Fire Service recruiting for life changing Prince’s Trust course

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) is searching for youngsters who are up for a challenge to be part of our successful Prince’s Trust Team Programme.

SYFR have teamed up with the Prince’s Trust to deliver The Team Programme, a 12 week personal development course for unemployed 16 – 25 year olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

Individuals will gain new skills and qualifications, mix with new people and make new friends, get help with job-hunting and CV writing and most importantly a big boost to their confidence and a real sense of achievement.

SYFR Team Programme Leader John Daley said; “Our first Team Programme was a great success with ten youngsters graduating and a number of individuals securing a job afterwards. We are now recruiting for our next course starting in May. The course will include team building exercises, work placements, CV writing and loads more, which will give the youngsters a real sense of purpose and achievement.”

Jack Darton, member of the first Team Programme said; “This course has enabled me to make loads of new friends and learn new skills which I will be able to use in my life and help me with getting a job. I owe a lot to the Team Programme and would like to thank South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and the Prince’s Trust for giving me this opportunity.”

To be part of the next Team Programme or for further details contact John Daley on 07769 887249 or