Electrical problems caused around a quarter of all accidental fires in Calderdale and now the fire service is putting out a warning about fire hazards and how to avoid them.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has teamed up with Together Housing to warn about the dangers of electrical fires, with the launch of six new fire safety videos they hope will give people ‘bite-sized’ information on how to keep fire safe.
The videos, entitled ‘Sixty Second Safety’, cover how to avoid electrical fires, alongside other topics including the importance of having working smoke alarms, candle safety and, if you must smoke, tips on how to prevent a fire.
They also give advice for people living in social housing around the importance of keeping communal areas clear so as not to impede escape routes, the importance of keeping fire doors shut and advice on what to do in the unlikely event of a fire.
In the last five years WYFRS has attended 109 accidental dwelling fires across Calderdale district which were started by electrics – equating to almost a quarter (24%) of all accidental fires in homes in the area.
During the same period 348 accidental fires were recorded in homes across Calderdale caused by other non-electrical sources – 195 of which were accidental cooking related fires.
So in total there have been 457 accidental dwelling fires in Calderdale in the five years 2013-2017.
Calderdale District Commander Martyn Greenwood said: “We hope that people will watch the Sixty Second Safety videos and will take on board our simple yet crucial advice.
“The importance of having working smoke alarms is also heavily featured in the videos. Out of all of the accidental fires we have attended in homes in Calderdale over the last five years only 59% had a working smoke alarm.
“In 21% of cases people had a smoke alarm which did not go off – possibly due to poor maintenance or because the batteries had expired. So it’s not good enough to just have a smoke alarm – it needs to be working.”