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Severe weather, keep warm, keep safe: advises Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

The cold weather forecast to continue throughout January GMFRS are asking the public to help them by checking on the welfare of their neighbours
GMFRS are dealing with the working conditions caused by the severe  weather affecting the entire county

Currently Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) are dealing with the extraordinary working conditions caused by the severe weather affecting the entire county. 

Despite the poor driving conditions emergency fire crews are fully operational and responding to all incidents, also six additional 4x4 vehicles have been made available.

Because of the  cold weather and treacherous driving conditions placing extraordinary demands on all the emergency services the public are being requested  only to  call 999 when they have a real emergency, and to recheck their fire safety precautions by following some simple tips -

• Ensure you have smoke alarms fitted in your home - and check they are working!
• Make sure every one in your home knows what to do in an emergency - make an escape plan.
• In the event of a fire - Get out, Call 999 and Stay out!

With the cold weather forecast to continue throughout January GMFRS are also asking the public to help them by checking on the welfare of their neighbours.(The Department of Health recently highlighted that many older people live alone and more than 180,000 have gone for a whole week without speaking to friends, family or neighbours).

Assistant County Fire Officer, Jim Owen said, "During this cold weather we would ask that friends and neighbours check on the vulnerable members of our communities (for example older people or anyone suffering an illness) whenever possible. It may be that they do not have a smoke alarm or that you are concerned for their well being with regard to fire safety in the home. This is a period when more heating, including portable heaters and electric blankets are used, which increases the risk of fire."

During the winter months you are far more likely to have an accidental fire than at any other time of the year, sometimes with tragic consequences. The most common causes of these fires are:

  • Smoking materials - carelessly discarded cigarettes
  • Cooking appliances/chip pans - left on when people become distracted
  • Open fires and heating appliances - too close to something which can catch fire

For this reason these safety points should be remembered:

"This is a period when more heating, including portable heaters and electric blankets are used, which increases the risk of fire"

  • Never smoke in bed or when you're feeling drowsy.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended, have a torch handy in case the lights go off.
  • Always use a fireguard around an open fire and make sure the chimney is kept clean.
  • Have electric blankets checked regularly by a qualified electrician- don't leave them switched on and never use them at the same time as a hot water bottle.
  • Fit a smoke alarm and check it regularly.
  • In the event of a fire Get Out, Call 999 and Stay Out.

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