South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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South Yorkshire’s fire service commits to improvements following national inspection report

South Yorkshire’s fire service says it is has already taken significant steps to improve its service, following publication of a national inspection report

The report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) identified several areas for improvement- as well as many areas of good practice.

Inspectors said the service is ‘good’ at looking after its people, but needs to improve under the ‘effectiveness’ and ‘efficiency’ inspection categories. The service is rated as ‘good’ in seven out of 11 sub-categories.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby, said: “The report highlights many areas of good practice across the service and we are proud of these positive findings. We are particularly proud to be rated ‘good’ for People- with those we employ our most important and valued asset.

“However, we acknowledge there are also areas for improvement and we will use this report to drive further improvements to our service for the people of South Yorkshire.

“We’ve already addressed several of the areas identified in the report and believe we have made significant improvement since the inspection team visited us last summer.”

Improvements South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has made since the inspection team visited, include recruiting more on-call firefighters, beginning to overhaul its Occupational Health Unit and delivering more work to implement nationally developed guidance for firefighters.

The report follows an inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in summer 2022.

It is the second time South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has been inspected since HMICFRS extended its remit to include inspections of fire and rescue services in 2017.

The inspectorates assesses and reports on the efficiency, effectiveness and people management qualities of the 45 fire and rescue services in England. Services are rated either ‘inadequate’, ‘requires improvement’, ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ under each of these.

Fire service prohibition of Sheffield apartment block to proceed

The planned prohibition of the use of an apartment block in Sheffield is still expected to proceed as planned, due to serious fire safety concerns.

Fire safety inspecting officers from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue served a prohibition notice on Wicker Riverside on 5 December because previously identified issues with the building had not been resolved and interim measures which had been in place can no longer be considered interim.

The notice comes into force on 31 January- which coincides with the expiry date of a previously served enforcement notice and allows time for residents to find alternative accommodation.

SYFR Assistant Chief Fire Officer Andy Strelczenie, said: “Prohibiting the use of a building in this way is always a last resort, particularly when it will cause so much disruption to those living there. Ultimately though, the safety of the residents must come first. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this horrendous situation, but we simply cannot allow this unsafe situation to continue.

“We’ll continue to work closely with the responsible persons to ensure the matters within the building can be resolved. Responsible persons are now making efforts to remediate issues within the building as quickly as possible and the prohibition notice will be removed as soon as we believe it is safe to do so. But as things stand, we fully expect the notice to come into force on 31 January.

“Alongside Sheffield City Council, we’ve been meeting with residents regularly to help explain what the notice means and to support them in finding alternative accommodation.”

The fire service originally served an enforcement notice on Wicker Riverside in December 2020 and has continued to engage with the responsible persons since then to ensure the safety issues identified by inspectors were resolved- but this has not happened within the timescales set out in the notices.

The issues with the building include its internal fire compartmentation- things designed to stop a fire from spreading throughout a building- and the external cladding.

SYFR is responsible for enforcing fire safety laws in South Yorkshire. It employs fire safety inspecting officers who carry out fire safety audits. If the inspecting officer identifies any fire safety deficiencies, they have a range of options available to them- including issuing a prohibition notice.

A prohibition notice is a legal notice. Where there is a serious and imminent risk to life fire safety inspecting officers can prohibit or restrict the use of premises. If the premises continues to be used against the prohibition notice, then anyone failing to comply with the notice may be prosecuted.

Safety advice for residents affected by S6 gas supply issue

We’re aware of the ongoing gas supply incident in parts of Stannington and Hillsborough.

Whilst agencies work together to resolve this issue, fire service staff will be visiting the area to provide safety advice to local people.

If you’ve lost your gas supply, please:

  • Be careful not to overload electrical sockets– we know people may be using more electrical items to cook or heat their homes, but most extension leads and adapters can only take a maximum of 13 amps
  • Take care with electric heaters– keep them away from soft furnishings and don’t use them to dry clothes, as this is a common cause of fires
  • Beware of unsafe heating practices– things like candles and camp stoves are not safe for heating your home and are another common cause of fire

SYFR responds to Independent Cultural Review of London Fire Brigade

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has responded to the Independent Cultural Review of London Fire Brigade.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby, said: “The report makes difficult reading for anyone working in the fire and rescue service. It shouldn’t need saying- but there is absolutely no place for the negative behaviour and attitudes described in the report in any modern workplace, let alone the fire and rescue service.

“We have clear policies in place on bullying, harassment and discrimination and regularly work with staff networks and representative bodies to improve these. We also have a well-established set of staff behaviours which we expect all our people to follow.

“But we must never be complacent. That’s why we will be reviewing the report and its recommendations in detail and looking to implement improvements to our own service where appropriate. We aspire to be a great place to work where everyone can be themselves and will be using the findings of this report to further support our work towards this.”

Amazon voucher up for grabs as part of smoke alarm competition

Fancy an extra surprise gift this Christmas? Here’s your chance!

We are running a competition in which one lucky winner will bag themselves a £100 Amazon UK voucher.

To enter the competition, you must sign up for our smoke alarm testing reminders at This takes around 60 seconds to do.

On Friday 16 December 2022 we will draw a name at random from the list of people who have signed up for our reminders.

We’ll then contact the lucky winner and send across their voucher, just in time for the big day!

Terms and conditions

  1. The competition will close on Friday 16 December at 9am
  2. The competition is exclusively for South Yorkshire residents aged 18 or over
  3. The winner will be chosen at random from the list of numbers and email addresses signed up for the smoke alarm reminders
  4. We will contact the winner by 5pm on Friday 16 December – they will have 72 hours to accept their prize
  5. Should the winner not respond within the allotted time, a new winner will be picked at random
  6. The Amazon voucher – worth £100 only – will be sent via email in digital format
  7. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue takes no responsibility for what is purchased with said voucher
  8. Any issues with the voucher, products or refunds must be handled through Amazon directly

Smoke alarm plea as ‘cost of living’ fires begin to surface

Firefighters across South Yorkshire are urging people to ‘save safely’ this winter and, importantly, ensure they have working carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in their homes.

The plea comes following recent incidents across the county where residents have burned inappropriate and potentially toxic materials to warm their homes, as opposed to using their usual method of heating.

One recent case saw an occupant overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of burning coal, in a tin bucket, in their living room.

And whilst fire officers recognise the financial squeeze that lots of people are currently facing, they are asking residents to not put themselves at risk.

“We know times are tough”

“We know times are tough for lots of people right now, but the pattern we are seeing around unsafe heating in homes is concerning,” said Area Manager Matt Gillatt, head of the joint police and fire community safety department.

“Our ask is that people ensure they save safely, take extra care when it comes to using things like log burners and electric blankets, and please don’t use tin buckets or small gas cylinders to heat your homes – they aren’t safe.

“We would then strongly urge people to ensure they have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted in their properties. These are life-saving devices that will give you early warning should you be at risk.”

Recent changes to the law mean that anyone in rented or council homes should be provided with a carbon monoxide detector by their landlord.

Meanwhile the fire service in South Yorkshire offers a completely free smoke alarm testing reminder service.

Residents simply have to input a phone number or email address and they will be reminded, each week, to ensure their alarms are working.

This, officers say, could potentially save a life further down the line.

“They really do save lives” 

“Smoke alarms don’t get the credit they deserve – they really do save lives. But they can only save you if they are working,” added Matt.

“By testing and dusting them regularly, you ensure they are working should you ever need them. And don’t just take our word for it, either.

“Our figures show that there have been 791 instances in the last three years where a smoke alarm has sounded and given occupants early warning of a fire in their home.

“Unfortunately, there were 430 cases where smoke alarms weren’t present or didn’t work. Needless to say, the fire damage was worse in these cases.”

You can sign up to the service’s free smoke alarm reminder service at – doing so before the end of the year will see you entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon gift voucher.

There is then more information on smoke alarms at

Emergency services make bonfire and firework safety plea

South Yorkshire’s police and fire services are urging people to be fire safe and 999 wise around Halloween and Bonfire Night this autumn.

This comes after the county’s firefighters saw an increase in call outs on Bonfire Night last year, compared to previous ‘Dark Night’ periods.

Crews were called to 96 incidents on Friday 5 November last year, compared to 80 on the same date in 2020 – an increase of 20 percent.

Many of these call outs involved bonfires that had grown out of control, and trees that had been set on fire by stray fireworks. Others involved cars and wheelie bins being set alight.

“We never aim to ruin anyone’s fun.”

“We always want people to enjoy Bonfire Night, and we never aim to ruin anyone’s fun, but it’s really important people are careful out there,” said Area Manager Matt Gillatt, head of the joint police and fire community safety department.

“This year we’re specifically asking people to stay with their bonfires, as leaving them unattended tends to end badly. We’re also asking people to ensure they are sensible in how they position their fireworks, so they are away from bushes and trees.

“Finally, we’d like to ask that people bring their bins in from off the street, and let us have any information on deliberate fire-setting that they may have.

“These details can be shared with us anonymously via our FireStoppers service – people just need to call 0800 169 5558 or visit”

Since the start of October, police and fire staff have been doing joint patrols and visits to local schools and community centres, offering advice around Halloween and bonfire safety.

Meanwhile senior officers from South Yorkshire Police are also assuring local residents that they will be taking a no-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour this year.

“We are here for you if you need us.”

The force lead for what is known collectively as Operation Dark Nights, Chief Inspector Lee Carlson, said: “We want everybody to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire night; we know it can be an enjoyable time of the year for most people, but for some the festivities alongside the darker nights can make them feel vulnerable.

“We want you to know that whilst the majority of people will enjoy the period without any issues, the few people that do want to cause a problem will not be tolerated and our extra officers will be there to deal with them.

“Our Neighbourhood officers have already been in schools talking to young people about antisocial behaviour and the effect it can have on people living near them, as well as giving them guidance around keeping safe during dark nights.

“We hope you will all enjoy Halloween and Bonfire night and respect everybody around you. We will have officers out conducting extra patrols and we are here for you if you need us.”

The force is asking people to check who the right service is to contact about anti-social behaviour issues. Often things such as noise pollution are dealt with by local councils.

Anybody that needs the police or fire service in an emergency is still encouraged to call 999, and the police can be contacted on 101 around non-urgent issues.

You can find out more about what organisations are best to contact regards anti-social behaviour on the police’s website, here. 

Fire station rebuild to be discussed by South Yorkshire’s fire authority members

A proposal to rebuild Elm Lane fire station is to be discussed by Fire Authority members.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue plans to replace the existing facility with a new building on the same site, in a construction project which could become a UK first.

The new ‘modular’ fire station would be constructed off-site in a move which could save both time and money.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin, said: “These plans form part of an ambitious programme to refurbish our property estate- giving our firefighters modern, safe and energy efficient fire stations in which to live and work. Modular construction methods have come on massively in recent years and we are excited to explore the potential for this new way of building fire stations to improve the efficiency of such projects.”

The current fire station on Elm Lane, Sheffield Lane Top was built in 1976, but is nearing the end of its operational life. Refurbishing the existing facility has been ruled out, due to the high cost of removing large amounts of suspected asbestos.

The project to rebuild the station will be discussed by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority members at their meeting on Monday (10 October).

The project is in the pre-planning phase, with any confirmed plans subject to the usual planning application process and consultation with local residents.

Law changes to carbon monoxide alarm provision

Many landlords across South Yorkshire are now required to fit carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their properties, following a change in the law.

As of Saturday 1 October 2022, The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 require CO alarms to be installed in all rented accommodation and new build properties where there is a fixed combustion appliance. This excludes gas cookers.

Both private and social sector landlords will be required to provide the alarms, and they will have a duty to repair or replace faulty alarms upon being informed of any issues.

These regulations apply specifically to homes in England, which has followed in the footsteps of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in mandating the installation of CO detectors.

Where landlords do not comply with the requirements, Local Authorities have the power to issue penalty notices and fines of up to £5,000.

“As a fire service we have seen a number of examples where people have tragically died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and we absolutely welcome these new regulations,” said Area Manager Matt Gillatt, head of South Yorkshire’s joint police and fire community safety department.

“The cost of a new carbon monoxide alarm for landlords is considerably less than the potential fine, but we hope that landlords opt to install detectors because it’s the right thing to do, not just because of the potential financial penalty.”

Carbon monoxide alarms alert households to dangerous levels of exposure to what is known as the silent killer.

The poisonous gas forms when carbon-based fuels are burnt. Examples within a typical home include fires, stoves and gas appliances (such as boilers).

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, feeling sick, being sick, feeling weak or having chest and muscle pain. Excessive amounts of the gas can come from appliances that aren’t installed properly, are faulty or poorly maintained.

Using disposable BBQs or camping stoves inside houses (or tents), or turning lawnmowers or cars on inside a garage, can also cause a build-up of carbon monoxide.

Anyone who is suffering from the symptoms listed above should contact NHS on 111.

Anyone who thinks their gas appliance is leaking excessive carbon monoxide should contact the National Gas Helpline on 0800 111 999.

Her Majesty The Queen – fire service statement

It is with enormous sadness that the service notes the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

The firefighters and staff of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue extend our most humble condolences to all of the Royal Family.

The service, and our country, stands together as we honour Her Majesty’s passing and reflect on the legacy of an incredible reign filled with patriotism, leadership and an unwavering duty to public service.

Her Majesty has been an inspiration to the fire and rescue service throughout her reign and, like other local public services, we will be taking the appropriate steps to mark her passing and express our condolences in the coming days.

  • Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby