With the onset of this very cold weather, many of us are spending more time indoors keeping as warm as possible. Understandably, some people may be turning to open fires or extra heat sources like electric blankets and portable heaters to keep out the winter chill, but these bring with them an increased risk of fire in the home.
Community Fire Safety Team Manager, Steve Wright, said: "More accidental fires occur in the winter than any other time so we recommend people take a few simple precautions to ensure they stay safe as well as warm during this cold snap. Older residents often feel the cold more and can be particularly vulnerable, so it's especially important for friends, relatives and neighbours to keep an eye out for them.
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following advice:
- Have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year, twice a year if burning wood
- Never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire
- Switch portable heaters off when you are not in the room and keep them well away from anything that could catch light like furnishings
- Never leave candles and tea lights unattended and make sure they are placed on a heat resistant surface
- Unplug electric blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use
- Test it Tuesday! Working smoke alarms save lives - so make sure you have one on each floor of your home and test them weekly
Comprehensive fire safety advice is free and simple to access at www.esfrs.org