South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Check your battery plea by fire service after battery fire destroys Sheffield house

Firefighters are calling on e-bike users to check their batteries after a house fire almost ended in tragedy.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue attended a fire at a house on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield on Sunday morning which was caused by an e-bike battery.

Five fire engines were called at 11.30am on Sunday 28 April and found the ground floor to be alight on arrival. Three hose reels and one main jet were used to extinguish the fire.

Five people managed to evacuate but three people were taken to hospital after sustaining injuries after jumping out of the first floor window.

The fire was caused by a failure of a lithium ion battery in an e-bike which was on charge alongside with six other e-bikes within the living room.

The ferocity at which lithium ion batteries, used to power e-bikes and e-scooters, burn and explode caused the fire to engulf all three floors of the house.

Fires involving e-bikes and e-scooters are a growing risk for South Yorkshire as 15 fires involving lithium ion batteries were recorded in 2023, almost double the number that occurred in 2022.

In March this year, a fire involving an e-bike and e-scooter caused significant damage to a house on Tawny Street, Barnsley whilst in May last year two men were lucky to escape with their lives after a fire involving multiple lithium ion batteries in a house in Sharrow Street, Sheffield.

That is why the service has today shared this story to launch its Charge Happy campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the fire risk posed by lithium ion batteries.

Ade Parkin, Group Manager at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “The people involved in these incidents are lucky to have escaped without serious injury.

“We know that e bikes and e scooters are growing in popularity and can be really beneficial in opening up cycling to people of all fitness levels, not to mention the obvious environmental benefits they bring in terms of reduced carbon emissions compared to other means of transport.

“That is why it is so important to only buy bikes from reputable supplier that show clearly that they meet UK/EU safety laws and only use the charger supplied with the battery.

“We’d also encourage owners of e bikes to think carefully about where you charge your vehicle and not block any escape routes.”

Safety tips for e-bike and e-scooter users

  • Never block your escape route with anything, including e-bikes and e-scooters. Store them somewhere away from a main through route. Our advice is to store these items in a safe external location if possible, such as a garage or a shed.
  • Always use the correct charger, otherwise the risk of fire increases, and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
  • Do not attempt to modify or tamper with your battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Converting pedal bikes into e-bikes using DIY kits bought online can be very dangerous. They can pose a higher risk of fire. Get a professional or competent person to carry out the conversion and make sure to buy a battery from a reputable seller and that it is not second-hand.
  • Check your battery and charger meets UK safety standards.  We have particular concern where batteries have been purchased from online marketplaces and when they’ve been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.  Consumers buying any product can check that the item displays a UKCA or CE mark that ensures that the products meet UK and EU safety, health or environmental requirements. If buying online, buy from a UK supplier.

Watch out for signs that the battery or charger aren’t working as they should – e.g. if the battery is hot to the touch or has changed shape.

New Assistant Chief Fire Officer for South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority (SYFRA) has appointed a new Assistant Chief Fire Officer.

Simon Dunker was appointed following a competitive selection process which included a written application, leadership team interview, interview by staff group and trade union representatives and presentation and panel interview with members of the Fire Authority.

Sheffield-born Simon joined South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) as a firefighter in 1998. He is currently Area Manager responsible for service delivery, community safety and emergency response. He has previously led the service’s Joint Community Safety Department with South Yorkshire Police and its resilience, planning and contingencies section.

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Charlie Hogarth, said: “This was a really competitive process, with applicants from right across the country. But the whole panel was greatly impressed by Simon’s commitment to service improvement and his obvious passion for South Yorkshire, its fire service and its communities. We are confident this appointment will help SYFR to continually improve its service to the public.”

Simon said: “I am really pleased to be appointed to this role. I have always felt extremely proud to serve this fantastic county and I look forward to continuing to improve the service and support its people in my new role of Assistant Chief Fire Officer.”

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

Open Days and Car Washes 2024

We have a number of station open days, events and car washes planned this year.

Below is a list of all the current stations holding an event.

Open Days

  • Rotherham Station (Fitzwilliam Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, S65 1ST) – Saturday 1 June 2024, 10am – 4pm
  • Edlington Station (Edlington Lane, Warmsworth, Doncaster, DN12 1DA) – Saturday 29 June 2024, 11am – 3pm
  • Parkway Station (Reynolds Road, Sheffield, S9 4EP) – Saturday 20 July 2024, 11am – 4pm
  • Central Station (Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 3FG) – Sunday 28 July 2024, 11am – 4pm

Car Washes

  • Dearne Station (Manvers Way Rotherham South Yorkshire S63 5DN) – Saturday 1 June 2024, 10am – 4pm
  • Rossington Station (West End Lane, Rossington, Doncaster, DN 11 0PQ) – Saturday 8 June 2024, 10am – 3pm
  • Doncaster Station (Leicester Avenue, Doncaster, DN2 6DR) – Sunday 9 June 2024 – 10am – 3pm

All charity car washes are in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity.