Worries that fire risk could increase with cost of living

A fire burns

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are urging people to stay safe this winter, as the increase in household costs means some residents may be putting their lives at risk as they hope to save money.

There are worries that safety measures may be overlooked, leading to more preventable fires and even carbon monoxide poisoning, as residents look to cut energy use this winter.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has already warned that the cost of living rise will mean people turn to alternative ways of heating and lighting their homes.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is supporting the NFCC campaign to help reduce the fire risks in the home, including by completing an online home fire safety check for themselves or their loved ones.

By answering a few simple questions, the results will provide advice tailored to you and your household at www.safelincs.co.uk/hfsc  

For those more at risk, home visits are arranged to provide help and advice. You can check if you’re eligible at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr

Dan Moss, area manager for prevention and protection at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said, “We know for many people, they have to carefully consider every penny they spend as costs rise. As a bare minimum for fire safety at home, residents should make sure they have working smoke alarms –at least one on each level of the home. If you have any heating appliance that doesn’t run off electricity, you should also have a carbon monoxide alarm –it’s the only way to detect this gas, which can be fatal. Testing all alarms regularly is also important.

“If you are choosing to only heat one room in your house where you will sleep, make sure there are alarms fitted in that room. Changes to regulations mean landlords must fit smoke alarms in every house and carbon monoxide alarms where necessary, in rented accommodation. They must also carry out an annual gas safety check. We advise tenants to ensure their landlord is complying to help keep them safe.

“The fire service can provide advice on reducing the risk of a fire and the online fire safety check and home fire safety visits are all completely free.”

Other top tips this winter from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, include:

  • Check any heating appliances are in good working order
  • Visit registermyappliance.org.uk to check your electrical goods have not been recalled
  • Ensure flammable items such as furniture and drying clothes are placed well away from heaters and fires
  • Ensure you use the correct fuel for woodburning stoves and open fires –to reduce the risk of toxic fumes, chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • If possible, don’t skip servicing of boilers and gas appliances by a Gas Safe engineer to prevent gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you’re a homeowner check your energy provider’s website for information about their Priority Services Register –if you’re eligible they often offer a free annual gas safety check along with other support.
  • Look out for friends and neighbours this winter by checking in on them, especially if they’re more vulnerable.

Published: 21st October 2022