Take extra care during the lockdown, urge firefighters

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging people to take extra care to prevent more accidental fires during the current national lockdown.

More people are at home than normal, spending more time in the kitchen, running heaters and burning wood or coal fires. This is likely to lead to an increase in fires, GMFRS warns.

The spring national lockdown led to a rise in call-outs to fires caused by cooking and baking, as well as from rubbish burned in gardens.

The warning comes after firefighters were called to five fires at the weekend in kitchens, in a bedroom and as a result of a garden fire. They included:

  • One person received burns and was taken to hospital following a chip pan fire at a property in Partridge Street, Stretford, at around 5am on Saturday. Three other people were also treated by ambulance crews at the scene.
  • A fire that involved a pan of food on a cooker at a property in Sibson Road, Manchester, at around 11.20am on Sunday, which led to a person suffering the effects of smoke inhalation
  •  A rubbish fire in the garden of Mosley Avenue, Bury, at around 10pm on Saturday, where the fire had spread to the window frame of a house
  • A fire in an oven at a property in Northolme Gardens, Manchester, at around 6pm on Saturday
  • A fire in a bedroom at a property in Brookleigh Road, Manchester, at around 9.25pm on Saturday

GMFRS Head of Prevention, Paul Duggan, said: “We saw a significant increase in certain types of fire during the spring lockdown and we are concerned now that the same thing will happen again.

“We have already seen a number of fires where people have suffered burns, smoke inhalation and seen serious damage to their homes.

“Accidental fires can be devastating for the people affected and any one of them could have even more serious or tragic consequences.

“These types of fires can be easily prevented by taking extra care and by reminding ourselves of the simple things we can all do.”

During the first national lockdown last spring, accidental fires in the home in Greater Manchester increased due to:

  • people burning rubbish outside which spread to houses, sheds or cars
  • people deliberately setting light to fly-tipped rubbish
  • fires caused by cooking, baking or frying
  • fires caused by smoking or discarded smoking materials
  • hot ashes or coals from barbecues that set light to bins or other items

Key safety tips include:

  • Keep electrical leads, cloths and tea towels away from the cooker, keep appliances away from water and never leave cooking unattended
  • Don’t burn rubbish in your garden. Household waste and recycling centres are open if you can’t store rubbish safely.
  • When using open fires be sure to have the chimney swept, use a fire guard and ensure that ashes are cold before you put them in a bin
  • When using portable heaters be sure not to have them too close to curtains, furniture or your clothes and never use them for drying washing
  • Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your house and test the batteries regularly

More tips and information are available on our website.

GMFRS will be sharing tips and advice on social media this week under the #StaySafeGM.

11/01/2021 17:09 PM