As we greet the new year and firmly batten down the hatches ready to ride out what’s left of winter, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service would like to grab your attention for just a moment.
The winter months bring with them not only shorter, colder days, and let’s face it rather unpleasant weather, but their arrival unfortunately often goes hand in hand with an increase in accidental house fires too.
Whether it’s distractions when cooking, that old heater finally giving up the ghost or an increased reliance on multiple electrical appliances that are behind the fires starting, the one overriding common theme lately has been an increase in the number of casualties as a result of them.
In recent weeks Hyndburn has seen a significant increase with 12 this year so far compared to last year. This increase comes hot on the heels of a recent incident back in December, where 6-year-old Kyran Walker led his family to safety after a pan caught fire in their home. And so now, firefighters at Hyndburn are stepping up efforts to remind people that when there’s a fire; get out, stay out and call the fire service out.
Group Manager Liam Wilson said: “For an adult, experiencing a fire can cause many to panic and freeze so what Kyran was able to do when he was faced with that situation, at his age, really is applaudable and great to see.”
“His ability to put into practice what he learned from one of our fire education sessions shows there’s a real benefit to the prevention work that we do. We want to jump on the back of his good example and really push the importance of the get out, stay out message with people in the wider Hyndburn community and our staff will be working hard over the next few weeks to really get that message across.”
Hyndburn Watch Manager, Kiery Horne is heading up the initiative and said;
“There’s no doubt that discovering a fire in your home is going to initially cause some level of panic and we understand that, but when it comes to fight or flight, we’d much rather see people get out safely than put themselves at risk of serious and potentially life altering injuries.”
“Individuals trying to tackle fires has led to some casualties at incidents we’ve attended needing hospital treatment for things like the effects of smoke inhalation and burns injuries. Hopefully by highlighting this issue again we can raise awareness and prevent further casualties in future.”
Recent incidents have ranged from clothing accidentally catching fire from people being too close to candles and heaters through to people attempting to deal with pans that catch fire themselves. The key message however, is if you see a fire; get out, stay out and call 999. And if your clothing catches fire remember to stop, drop and roll.