Thursday, 31 October 2013

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service issues bonfire party warning for Friday

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to take extra care this weekend and consider attending an organised event rather than holding bonfire and firework celebrations at home.

The advice follows the announcement of further industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades Union, which is scheduled to take place between 18.30 and 23.00 on Friday 1st November. A shorter strike is also planned for Monday 4th November between 06.00 and 08.00 in the dispute between the FBU and the Government over pensions.

Firefighters not involved in the strike will be on duty and ready to respond in the event of an emergency, but cover will inevitably be reduced.

While there are no major organised bonfire celebrations planned in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove during Friday’s strike, some families may be planning to hold their own celebrations at home and should take extra care. Simple bonfire and fireworks safety advice is available on our website.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “We are ready to respond, but members of the public can help by staying safe and ensuring that we concentrate our resources where they are most needed. Remember that attending a large, organised display is one of the safest ways for you and your family to enjoy bonfire night. There are plenty going on around Sussex at this time of year.

“Our basic advice remains the same during the strike and at all other times. If you have a fire, get out of the building, stay out and call 999. If the fire is outside, move everyone away to a safe distance as quickly as you can and call us.”

Firework and bonfire safety advice
•    Never buy fireworks from anywhere you're not sure about, like a van or a temporary, unlicensed market stall;
•    Make sure you read and understand the instructions on each firework carefully in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame;
•    Make suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off Catherine wheels or rockets;
•    Make sure you have the following to hand. A closed metal box to store the fireworks - take them out one at a time; a bucket of water  to cool sparklers and put out any small fires; eye protection and gloves and a bucket of earth to stick fireworks in;
•    Have you decided who will let the fireworks off? It is best if only one person does this. They shouldn’t drink, they should make sure everyone else stands well back and use a tape to light the fireworks at arm’s length;
•    Never go back to a firework that has been lit - even if it hasn't gone off it could still explode;
•    Never throw fireworks on a bonfire, put them in your pocket or throw them.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

East Sussex Fire and Rescue warns always buy fireworks from a licensed retailer

The fire service is urging people across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove to make sure they buy their fireworks from a licensed retailer in preparation for bonfire night and Diwali.

The safety warning comes ahead of two strikes by members of the Fire Brigades Union (1st November between 18.30 and 23.00 and 4th November between 06.00 and 08.00) when the public is being asked to avoid having bonfires or setting off fireworks.

The sale and storage of fireworks is heavily regulated to make sure that only the safest products that comply with current quality standards reach licensed shops. But consumers still need to be on the lookout for illegal fireworks that may be unsafe and could cause injury.

If you are planning your own bonfire celebration and fireworks display this autumn, don’t buy cheaply from an unlicensed source. Make sure you follow our simple advice:

·         Buy your fireworks from a trader that has been licensed to sell fireworks by Trading Standards. If in doubt, contact Trading Standards or ask to see the trader’s license before you buy.
·         Only buy fireworks that comply with European safety standards and clearly display the distinctive CE mark that shows the product complies with these standards. They should also be correctly labelled with details of the manufacturer and importer.
·         Fireworks that comply with British Standards BS7114 can still be sold without the CE mark until 4 July 2017.
·         Contact Trading Standards if you know of any illegal practices by traders. This includes storage of fireworks at sites not registered with the local authority, sale of fireworks at market stalls or car boot sales or selling to under-18s. 

Each year we play a key role with Trading Standards in inspecting licensed premises for the safe storage and sale of fireworks. Our main focus is to ensure that retailers have completed their risk assessments, that they store fireworks in line with regulations and that they have the right quantity according to their license.

In some boroughs we are also working with police Neighbourhood Policing Teams to deliver the firework safety message to children through school visits.

Ron Kirkwood from the Business Safety Department at East Sussex Fire and Rescue said: “Fireworks can provide a fun and spectacular end to your celebrations but, as with any other kind of explosive you need to handle them with extreme care and take notice of what you are buying.

“When it comes to fireworks, buying cheaply from an unlicensed shop will almost certainly be a false economy and could result in serious injury or worse. Fireworks that comply with the relevant safety standards are clearly marked – make sure you do a quick check before you buy.

“Of course, buying your fireworks is only the first step towards a safe and enjoyable celebration. On the night, follow our advice and make sure that you, your family and friends have a safe and enjoyable time.”

Remember that attending an organised bonfire and firework display is one of the safest ways to enjoy the celebrations on 5th November. Details of some of the larger displays are available here.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Fatal road traffic collision, Rye

On 29th October at 12.24pm, Rye crews were called to a road traffic collision on Rye Harbour Road, Rye.

On arrival, crews found one private vehicle in collision with a tree. One male casualty was removed from the vehicle but was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Sussex Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service were also in attendance

Sprinkler System Success

East Sussex Fire Authority is calling on the Government to make it a legal requirement to enforce the use of sprinklers in new buildings and large-scale properties and to fit sprinkler systems in premises where ‘risk to life and loss of property are most significant.’

East Sussex Fire Authority Member, Councillor Carolyn Lambert has successfully petitioned Lewes District Council to install fire sprinklers in all new-build Council owned buildings. The Council has also agreed, if finances allow, to consider installing domestic sprinkler systems in refurbished homes owned by the District Council where these are occupied by people with restricted mobility. 

Lewes District Council will also actively promote the use of fire sprinklers and encourage others to install them into any building where they are not otherwise required to be installed by building regulation or council planning rules. 

Councillor Lambert said: “I am delighted that the Council has agreed to support this important proposal. As a member of the East Sussex Fire Authority, I am very aware of the importance of fire prevention work. There have unfortunately been eight fatal fires in the Lewes District in the last 10 years, and in the majority of these cases, domestic sprinkler systems could have made a difference to the tragic outcome.”

Chairman of East Sussex Fire Authority, Phil Howson, said: “Sprinklers can significantly help reduce death and injury from fire, reduce risk for firefighters, protect property and heritage and reduce the effects of arson. The greatest impact of installing fire sprinklers is likely to occur in schools, residential care homes, premises housing highly vulnerable residents and certain large commercial properties.”

Head of Business Safety, Richard Fowler, said: "This is tremendous news and shows a real commitment from Lewes District Council towards reducing the dreadful consequences of fire. Sprinklers save lives and dramatically reduce the damage caused to a building if a fire occurs. Sprinklers are an inexpensive and unobtrusive - just like having a firefighter in every room. The Fire Service would encourage building owners to give them careful consideration and we look forward to their more wide-spread use in the future."

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will provide advice and guidance to anybody considering using sprinklers in their building. or Tel: 01323 462414.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Fire Service called to further weather-related incidents

Fence blown down

Uckfield firefighters were called to Browns Lane, Manor Park, at 9.31am after a request was made by the police for assistance with a fence that had been blown over on top of a bank. Crews attended and made the area safe, as it was overhanging the path.

TV aerial comes loose

Lewes firefighters were called to Mongers Mead, in Barcombe, at 9.39am after a TV aerial became loose and was overhanging the path. Crews were called upon to make the aerial safe.

Securing of ashfelt

Hastings firefighters were called to Gresham Way, St Leonards, at 12.13pm after ashfelt came loose from a three-storey building. Roofers were unable to gain access to the roof as the hatchway was blocked and crews made the area safe.

Hoarding down

Herstmonceaux firefighters were sent to investigate at 1.06pm today (28th October) after reports that a large building site hoarding had come down against a metal electricity box and was unsafe. Crews were called upon to make the area safe and a message was left on the contractor’s phone.

Loose facia

Brighton firefighters were called out to secure loose facia five floors above a pathway in New Church Road, Hove, at 2.22pm today (28th October). Crews made the area safe and left the incident with the managing agent.

Unsafe balcony

Newhaven firefighters were called to The Promenade, Peacehaven, at 2.26pm today (28th October) after a concrete support for a glass screen on a balcony had fallen to the ground. A crew from Newhaven attended with a triple extension ladder and made the area safe.

Flying trampoline in Hastings

Take care on the roads following reports of a flying trampoline in Hastings.

Hastings firefighters were called to an incident at 9.19am where a trampoline was reported to be 15 foot up in a tree.

However, a resourceful member of the public had already removed the trampoline, located at the junction of Pilot Road and The Ridge, before the crews arrived.

Watch Commander Keith Morris is urging people to take care when out and about and to adopt a common sense approach and not to put themselves at any risk during this severe weather.