South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
  • In emergencies call 999
  • General enquiries 0114 272 7202
Smoke alarms

Service launches myth-busting campaign in bid to drive down house fires

Firefighters across South Yorkshire are asking the county’s residents to not believe everything they read or hear when it comes to fire safety.

The warning, issued by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, comes amidst a ‘cost of living’ crisis which has seen potentially dangerous money saving ‘hacks’ being shared online.

Fire crews have also attended a number of fires locally, over the winter period, which have been started through unsafe heating practices.

The service is therefore asking people across South Yorkshire to keep fire safety at the top of their mind when they are seeking to save money.

Be vigilant around what you read online…

“We’re very aware of the cost pressures everyone is facing currently, and we’d really urge anyone who is in trouble to seek support,” said SYFR Area Manager, Matt Gillatt.

“However, we’d also like to encourage people to be sensible and safe when it comes to cutting costs – keeping fire safety at the front of their minds at all times.

“We really want people to be vigilant around the stuff they read online or on social media. There are a lot of ‘money saving hacks’ doing the rounds that really aren’t very safe.”

Some of the money saving ‘hacks’ the service is referring to include using terracotta pots, baking trays and tea light candles to create DIY room heaters.

Fire officers are also concerned that people may delay the replacement of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in order to save money.

They are keen to stress that not only is there a range of financial support available, but the service offers free home safety checks to those deemed at increased risk of fire.

“We want people to know that we are here if they need us – we offer a free online home safety assessment and then, if necessary, will come out and conduct an in-person visit.

“At this visit our crews will install free smoke alarms and offer a range of advice on how to stay safe from fire, before signposting residents to any additional support they may need.

“And if you have a neighbour, friend or relative that you feel needs our help – we can do that too. You just need to carry out the online assessment on their behalf.”

Key advice for South Yorkshire residents

The service is offering key advice to people, as part of this latest campaign, to keep safe:

  • Ensure you only buy genuine electrical items from reputable suppliers
  • Ensure you use the correct fuel in your log burners
  • Have your chimney swept every year by a registered chimney sweep
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home

Anyone who feels they would benefit from a home safety check can carry out the online assessment here or call 0114 253 2314.

Common fire safety myths – busted!

FICTION – Cheap, imitation phone cables are just as good as the originals 
FACT –  
Electricals that are too cheap to be true usually don’t meet safety standards

FICTION – Using washing machines and tumble dryers overnight is cheaper
It’s highly likely your ‘leccy will cost the same in the day as it does at night

FICTION – You don’t need smoke alarms – you’d notice if your house was on fire
Smoke is silent – it won’t wake you up if a fire burns whilst you’re sleeping

FICTION – You can save money on your heating bills by using portable gas rings
Makeshift heating solutions can emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide

FICTION – You can use any wood in your wood burner, even stuff from the local park
Log burner regulations state you should use smokeless, low moisture fuel

FICTION – Chimneys don’t really need sweeping – it’s just a money making scheme
Chimneys need to be clear to allow free passage of dangerous gasses

FICTION – If you live in a rented property, it is your responsibility to fit CO alarms
Not anymore! Law changes mean that this is now a landlord’s responsibility

FICTION – Using candles to light a room is cheaper than electricity
It’s very unlikely buying a candle will be cheaper than running a light bulb

This content was last updated on February 28th, 2023