South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Christmas Tree Catastrophes: Is your festive foliage a fire hazard waiting to happen?

Ah, the magic of Christmas trees adorned with twinkling lights and shiny ornaments!

While they bring joy and warmth to the season, it’s crucial to ensure that the festive centrepiece doesn’t turn into a seasonal hazard.

Follow our life-saving tips to keep your Christmas tree from sparking a fiery catastrophe:

Choose Wisely: opt for a fresh tree

Select a tree with vibrant, green needles that don’t easily fall off. A well-hydrated tree is less likely to catch fire.

Keep It Hydrated

Water your tree daily. A well-hydrated tree is less likely to ignite. Check the water level in the stand regularly and never let it run dry.

Location, Location, Location

Place your tree well away from heat sources, such as fires, log burners and electric heaters. Ensure it doesn’t block doors or pathways.

Lights Out? Replace or repair!

Inspect your Christmas lights for frayed wires, damaged sockets, or loose connections. Replace any faulty lights immediately. Consider using LED lights, which emit less heat.

Don’t Overload Sockets

Avoid overloading electrical sockets. A maximum of 13 amps for an extension lead, and never link multiple extension leads together.

Switch It Off Before You Doze

Turn off your Christmas tree lights before going to bed or leaving the house. Consider using a timer to automate this process.

Trim the Trim

Keep decorations, especially paper or flammable ornaments, away from heat sources. Opt for flame-resistant or flame-retardant decorations whenever possible.

Dispose of It Properly

Once the holidays are over, promptly remove the tree from your home. Many communities offer Christmas tree recycling programs.

Have an Escape Plan Ready

Always have a fire escape plan in place. Ensure that everyone in your household knows the plan and practice it regularly.

By following these fire safety tips, you’ll ensure that your Christmas tree stays festive and fabulous without the risk of turning your holiday dreams into a blazing nightmare. Stay safe, and have a Merry Christmas!

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue launches WhatsApp Channel to enhance community communication

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) is excited to announce the launch of its official WhatsApp Channel, a new platform designed to strengthen communication with the community and provide important fire safety advice, major incident updates, and other exclusive behind the scene looks at SYFR.

A first of its kind for a fire service in the UK, the channel forms part of SYFR’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents of South Yorkshire. Our new WhatsApp Channel will serve as a direct line of communication between the fire service and the public, offering a convenient and accessible way to receive timely updates and engage with important fire safety content.

Key Features of the SYFR WhatsApp Channel:

Fire Safety Tips: Receive regular, easy-to-follow tips to enhance safety at home, in the workplace, and within the community.

Major Incidents: Stay informed during major incidents with updates and safety advice.

Behind the Scenes: Get exclusive behind the scene looks at how SYFR works and discover trivia and facts about the service.

Event Announcements: Be the first to know about upcoming fire safety events, open days and charity car washes.

You can sign up to the channel here.

About WhatsApp Channels

WhatsApp Channels work a bit like following a page does on Facebook – rather than being “Friends” with an individual, that is.

Channels give you the opportunity to effectively sign up for updates from organisations, creators, and communities without anyone else having to know that you’re doing so.

When you join a WhatsApp Channel, while the Channel’s admins will get a notification, they won’t get access to your phone number or details.

You’ll then get new messages whenever admins post in the Channel, much as you would from a contact, except in a new tab at the bottom of WhatsApp called Updates.

You can review these posts whenever you like. You’ll be able to react with emojis and see how others are reacting, but your contacts won’t be able to see your precise reactions, even if they’re in the same Channel.

Messages, images and other posts disappear after 30 days, and admins can limit the forwarding of messages or files if they desire, to keep Channels more tightly controlled.

Prince’s Trust help YMCA allotments blossom

A group of young people have renovated the YMCA allotments in Barnsley as part of their Prince’s Trust course.

The current cohort of young chose the YMCA Barnsley community allotments as their community project which they completed as part of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme.

The group worked hard in all weather conditions to clear paths, repair growing beds and refurbish a seating area before handing the allotments back to the YMCA at a special ceremony on Friday 27 October, an event which was also attended by the Chief Fire Officer.

Andrea Battye, YMCA Barnsley Youth Work Manager said: “We are very grateful and greatly appreciate the work of the young people from the Prince’s Trust who have shown impressive resilience and commitment in the midst of often very poor weather.

“They have achieved an impressive amount in a short period. The feel of the space and accessibility are much improved and will make a huge difference to our own young people and the other community groups that use this fabulous space.

“We also wish to thank everyone who donated to the appeal and supported the project and also South Yorkshire Fire Service who supported the young people in their work.”

Rebecca Dore, Prince’s Trust Team Leader Assistant said: “We are very proud of our young people and all they accomplished whilst working on YMCA allotments.

“From getting muddy and drenched in the rain to weeding and adding wood chippings, bricklaying, putting up solar lights and handing over the keys to YMCA – they have enjoyed every minute.

“We are huge advocates for young people’s mental health, so we were excited to work with YMCA who are renowned for their support of youth engagement and mental health.

“We would like to thank the YMCA for giving the young people the creative freedom, opportunity and space to learn new skills, to learn about the environment and have fun.

“I’d also like to thank The Range for their generous donations and Wickes for their discount. These companies have played a huge part in making the project possible for the young people and have made amazing contributions to the community.

“We also want to say a big thank you to Greggs and Dominos for donating food for the young people whilst they were working hard in the pouring rain.”

The Team programme is a 12 week development course that gives young people a chance to learn vital life skills and earn qualifications to help them into work.

The course, delivered by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue in partnership with the Prince’s Trust and Barnsley College, runs from a new purpose-built Team Room at Barnsley Fire Station.

As well as the community project, the young people also complete a residential in the Peak District and work placements throughout the 12 weeks before a final presentation in Barnsley Town Hall in front of friends and family.

The next course is set to run in January and you can register your interest now!

Just email to find out more.

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


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 if you have any questions or queries about the competition.

Life changing opportunity for young people in South Yorkshire

Young people across South Yorkshire are being given the opportunity to change their lives thanks to the county’s police and fire services.

South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue will once again be teaming up to deliver the ‘life-changing’ Prince’s Trust Team Programme course later this month (September 2023) and will also run in January and March next year.

This is a course for people who are between 16 and 25-years-old and not currently in work or full-time education.

Lasting 12 weeks in total, the programme gives young people the chance to meet new friends, gain personal confidence and develop a wide range of life-skills.

Importantly, it involves work placements that give the youngsters valuable experience and contacts – with lots of previous participants landing meaningful work afterwards.

Rhian Oxley,  currently team leader for the South Yorkshire Prince’s Trust Programme, said: “Over the years these courses have changed hundreds of young lives. There is so much to gain from it in terms of news skills, new friends and vital work experience.

“On top of all that – it’s a lot of fun!”

The Team Programme is full-time, 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday – Friday at Barnsley Fire Station, and is completely free and will not affect any benefits.

Feel inspired? You can register your interest here

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.”

Amazing and life-changing youth scheme makes a long-term impact on 25-year-old Becky Dore

In 2017, Becky Dore’s mental health declined when she moved away from home to study for a specialist health care degree at university.

After leaving university, Becky was in a ‘dark place’ and was unsure what steps to take. She knew she wanted to work within the community and support people but didn’t know where to start. She felt lost.

Becky, who lives in Sheffield, then found the Prince’s Trust Team Programme where she enjoyed a full programme of study and work experience opportunities that have ultimately led her to gain her dream role as a Community Safety Administrator at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

Now aged 25, Becky said that when she left university her confidence was low, and she didn’t know what to do. She felt helpless. But praises the Prince’s Trust Team Programme for turning her life around and getting her on the right path.

Becky said: “When I moved away for university, my mental health was really affected, and I knew it wasn’t right for me. They offered me no support at all, so I went home.

“After feeling disappointed and let down, I didn’t know what to do next. But then I found the Prince’s Trust Team Programme and they gave me the confidence to refocus myself to get on track.

“They encouraged me to be independent again and inspired me to work hard to achieve my goals. As well as completing theory and educational sessions, I also completed work experience in childcare and a school as I always wanted to work in the community.

“Before and during Prince’s Trust, I was dealing with many struggles and personal experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. I struggled with my confidence and struggled to apply myself to my best ability. I have now learned from my dark times and have found the strength to move on from them.

“I feel that John and the team leaders supported me in the best way possible and that the Prince’s Trust prepared me for life more than school, college, or university.”

Becky praises the course as ‘amazing and life changing’ and says the scheme has had a valuable impact on her life.

She said: “I can appreciate the value of participating in this amazing, life-changing course. It gave me so many opportunities and it has had a crucial and valuable impact on my life that has stayed with me till current day.

“The Prince’s Trust helped to develop my prospects and ambition and it gave me the confidence and insight into pursuing further careers.

“I made great friends and will always remember it as one of the best times I’ve had in my life.

Becky directly credits the Prince’s Trust Team Programme as the reason behind securing her role in the fire service.

“From attending workshops, gaining my first aid certificate, going on the residential, leading and completing the community project, undertaking work experience, graduating, and giving a well-applauded speech – I have used the course for many job interviews.

“After achieving so much and overcoming so many challenges on the course, I believe it is this what led me on the right path into the fire service.”

Becky highly recommends the course and encourages other people to enrol as it opens a vast range of opportunities in the real world.

“The Prince’s Trust was the first time I felt anyone had believed in me. I felt a huge inspiration from the leaders not only due to their efforts but due to the service’s reputation and I felt encouraged and trusted to be independent.

“I developed a lot from the course provisions and especially the one-to-one support I received from the leaders, through their encouragement and confidence in me.

“I have always been very passionate about the Prince’s Trust and advocate it for young people to take part in and to make the most of all the opportunities they provide.”

Are you 16-25 and inspired by Becky’s story? You can join more than 200 people who have more successfully completed the programme and you too can go on to achieve a great future.

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a 12-week personal development course for unemployed 16- to 25-year-olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, and community projects.

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 to gain a real sense of achievement.

The Team Programme is full-time, 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday – Friday at Barnsley Fire Station, and is completely free and will not affect any benefits.

For more information contact

Government statement on fire safety remediation work backed

Calls for building owners to speed up fire safety remediation work have been backed by the county’s fire service.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue supports a joint statement from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and regulatory bodies which warns building owners that they need to get on with remediation work or face enforcement action.

“The DLUHC statement- issued jointly by the government, Building Safety Regulator, the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council, says:

“Building owners have always been responsible for fixing fire safety defects in their properties.

“Even where funding for remediation work has been agreed by the government, some building owners are still stalling – preventing vital safety work from starting and damaging residents’ quality of life.

“Whilst we are pleased that a number of landlords have done the right thing and remediated their buildings, it is unacceptable that too many are still failing to make their buildings safe.

“We are united in our determination to ensure building owners comply with the law and remediate their defective buildings without delay. Local authorities and fire and rescue services are already taking enforcement against building owners who are dragging their feet. Since 2018, local authorities have taken enforcement action on over 200 high rise buildings; and fire and rescue services have also served over 250 enforcement notices. But there is still more to do.

“We welcome the legal powers provided by the Building Safety Act 2022 and remain committed to working together and supporting local authorities and fire and rescue services to use the full range of their enforcement powers to full effect. The Building Safety Regulator will start enforcing building safety in residential buildings above 18 metres or seven storeys in spring 2024. Those who have yet to remediate can expect early attention from the Building Safety Regulator.

“Building owners who are continuing to stall should know they are running out of time if they are to avoid being forced to act. With the implementation of the Building Safety Act’s new building safety regime and the imminent launch of the Building Safety Regulator, we are tightening the regulatory screw. Regulators will not hesitate to take enforcement action against building owners if they do not comply with their legal duties. Together, we will make sure there are consequences for building owners who fail to do the right thing and that those responsible make their buildings safe.”

Four new fire engines for South Yorkshire’s firefighters in first part of big investment

Four new fire engines are responding to emergencies in South Yorkshire for the first time, in the first stage of a multi-million pound investment by the county’s fire and rescue service.

The £280,000 vehicles are greener, cleaner and more reliable than South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s existing fire engine fleet, which is nearing the end of its operational life.

The first four fire engines are to be based at Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Central (Sheffield) fire stations- with a further 24 fire vehicles on course to arrive over the next five years.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin, said: “The new vehicles represent the very latest best practice for the fire and rescue sector nationally- demonstrating our commitment to providing South Yorkshire’s firefighters with the best equipment possible.

“Cleaner engines and better fuel efficiency support our sustainability objectives, whilst wipe down cabs illustrate how seriously we take the issue of fire contaminants potentially affecting our frontline crews.

“Importantly, we will be keeping hold of some of our older vehicles as spares, as these new fire engines come into services. This will increase the resilience of our 999 response, should we face periods of exceptional demand- as we did during the heatwave last July.”

The new fire engines have been built by Yorkshire-based Angloco, with an all-aluminium body, Scania chassis and 320 horsepower engines.

They are fitted with Euro emission standard engines and are more fuel efficient than the existing fleet- thereby reducing their environmental impact.

The cabs are wipe clean- reducing the risk of toxic contaminants to firefighters.

Godiva pumps draw water from hydrants and vehicles are fitted with 22mm hose reels with selectable flow branches- allowing firefighters to get more than 230 litres of water per minute onto a fire.

New battery powered cutting gear is carried on each appliance- with the equipment more powerful and faster to use.

The delivery of the fire engines was delayed by a few months because of global supply chain issues affecting the vehicle manufacturing sector, but the remaining vehicles will now be delivered in batches of four in the coming months and years.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has a fleet of 27 full-sized, frontline fire engines, spread across its 21 fire stations.