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Fears over increase in house fires with people at home due to coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:58 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:45 31 March 2020

Fire chiefs fear there could be an increase in house fires during coronavirus lockdown. Picture Dan Grimmer.

Fire chiefs fear there could be an increase in house fires during coronavirus lockdown. Picture Dan Grimmer.

Archant

Fire chiefs fear there could be an increase in house fires, because people are spending so much more time at home during restrictions due to coronavirus.

Margaret Dewsbury.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMargaret Dewsbury. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has paused some of its services, including home fire risk check visits, due to the current situation.

While they are still attending emergency responses, bosses are keen that people take extra care to stay safe while they are in their homes.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: “With the majority of people now following the advice to stay at home, there is an increased risk of house fires and the service wants to ensure residents remain as safe and well as possible.

“Our firefighters are still around for emergency responses, but there are steps people can take to reduce the risk of fire at home.

“Home safety advice is available by phone, or in person where there is a high risk of fire.”

They urged people to:

Test smoke alarms weekly

Plan an escape route from your home that would be the best way to leave your home in the event of fire

Ensure mobile phone chargers are not left on overnight

Not leave the kitchen unattended while cooking

Not overload sockets

Close internal doors at night

Take extra care if using candles or barbecues

Ensure cigarettes are safely extinguished

If a fire is seen, people should leave the premises if you can and call 999 immediately.

Community fire safety officers will continue to visit where absolutely necessary to carry out home fire safety visits in homes that have a high risk of fire, or have been referred to the service from its professional partners.

The fire service can also give fire safety advice over the phone. Anyone who needs support should call 0800 917 8137 or email hq@fire.norfolk.gov.uk

Further tips and information is available here.

For those who are less vulnerable, staff may be able to deliver smoke alarms to be fitted by householder, although that is only for those are deemed to be at risk.

The service will offer advice and guidance on where to fit them and share a copy of its Fire Safety in the Home leaflet.

To keep up to date with the latest information join our Norfolk Coronavirus Update Facebook page


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