Outdoor Fire Safety

As summer finally seems to be upon us, Fire Kills, the Government department dedicated to improving fire safety, has made ‘Outdoor Fire Safety’ the theme for June. As an official Fire Kills sponsor, Safelincs is helping to spread the message.

barbecueBarbecues

Safety initiatives over the years have meant that actual fires caused by barbecues are uncommon. However, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), almost 2,000 people attend A&E units each year having had an accident involving a barbecue. Some of the accidents lead to very serious burns, usually as a result of using an accelerant such as petrol to light the fuel. The number of accidents usually increases if we have a hot summer.

Messages from Fire Kills that the fire service are being asked to communicate to the public include:
• Don’t drink too much alcohol if in charge of the barbecue (or any cooking!).
• Make sure the barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
• Never leave a barbecue or any cooking unattended.
• Never use a barbecue indoors; fumes from barbecues include the deadly gas carbon monoxide
• Keep a bucket of water, sand or the garden hose nearby for emergencies.
• Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
• Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive a barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on coal.
• Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and start a fire.

Camping

A few basic precautions are advised that will reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading:
• Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
• Don’t smoke inside a tent.
• Place the cooking area well away from the tent and clear of anything that could catch fire easily such as long, dry grass
• Set up tents at least six metres apart and away from parked cars.
• Keep cooking area clear of items that catch fire easily, including long, dry grass and in a place where they can’t easily be knocked over.
• Keep matches, lighters, flammable liquids and gas cylinders out of the reach of children.
• Have an escape plan and be prepared to cut your way out of your tent if there is a fire.

IT SHOULD BE PARTICULARLY STRESSED THAT BARBECUES SHOULD NEVER BE BROUGHT INSIDE A TENT. THEY EMIT DEADLY CARBON DIOXIDE FUMES (EVEN MORE WHEN THEY ARE COOLING DOWN). FATALITIES HAVE OCCURRED IN THE PAST.

Boat Safety

Fire safety on inland and coastal boats and pleasure crafts is also an issue. Fires can spread quickly on a boat, even on water. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and detectors should be installed as a matter of course. Additional messages when living on board include:
• Maintaining a boat’s fuel, gas and electrical systems on a regular basis.
• Setting up an emergency plan with everyone on board before setting out.

Caravans

Having working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in a caravan is just as important as having them at home. Additional messages for those staying in caravans include:
• Ensure caravans and tents are at least six metres apart and away from parked cars.
• If smoking, use metal ashtrays – and never smoke in bed.
• Don’t leave children alone inside.
• Don’t block air vents
• Turn off all appliances before leaving the caravan or going to bed.
• Never use a cooker or heater whilst the caravan is moving.

The Countryside

Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Dry ground in the summer means there’s an added risk of a fire starting. A few simple precautions will help reduce incidents.
• Extinguish cigarettes properly and never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
• Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
• Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires
• Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended.
• If a fire is spotted in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately.
• Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible.

Safelincs wishes its customers a happy and safe summer!

Fire Kills campaign moved between government departments

fire-kills-leafletIn January this year the Government announced that responsibility for fire and rescue policy would move from the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Home Office.

Included in this move is the Fire Kills fire safety campaign with which Safelincs has been partnered since 2009. Fire Kills is responsible for the promotion of fire prevention strategies in conjunction with the country’s fire services. Notably, it has continuously run a campaign to encourage people to test their smoke alarms on a regular basis. Safelincs support this with its free smoke alarm reminder service and a range of printed posters and leaflets jointly created with Fire Kills.

The reason for the move is the government’s manifesto commitment to deliver greater joint working between the police and the fire service. It is believed that this will pave the way for improvement in local fire fighting and policing by providing clear leadership, supporting greater collaboration and delivering value for money for taxpayers. It should also allow the government to share good practice more effectively in areas such as procurement and prevention.

For Fire Kills staff it will be a virtual move; they will remain in their offices in Victoria, London but will have new telephone numbers and email addresses now that they have come under the Home Office umbrella.

Safelincs will continue to support Fire Kills by campaigning to increase awareness about the dangers of fire and by publicising prevention initiatives.

 

New focus of Fire Kills campaign

fireangel-pro-smoke-alarmIn a continuing drive to remind people to test their smoke alarms, the government agency, Fire Kills, is introducing a brand new style of advertising.

The previous ‘doom and gloom’ approach which focussed on fire related tragedies is being replaced by a more positive tone. The new adverts will feature ‘talking’ smoke alarms being friendly and helpful. Insight had shown that people tend to dislike their smoke alarms – “they only go off when I cook toast” or “the low battery warning goes off at 3am”.

Under the banner ‘Unsung Heroes’, the campaign is a very different approach for Fire Kills as it moves away from fear to imagery that focuses directly on the smoke alarms. It is hoped that presenting smoke alarms as characters that are capable of expressing emotion and creating personalities for them allows people to relate to them.

Fire Kills’ most recent strategy had been to link to the clock change, encouraging people to test their alarms while they move their clocks forward or back an hour – encouraging this behaviour by demonstrating the dreadful consequences that not having working smoke alarms can bring. However, changing clocks is less of a hook as timepieces increasingly change automatically and it was noted that even the weather forecasters do not always remind us now. Hence people need reminding to test their smoke alarms and Fire Kills now wants to promote more regular (monthly) rather than twice-yearly testing.

Radio advertising will be the lead channel and will broadcast on Capital, Heart and Smooth radio networks from 11 January to 7 February 2016. Three press adverts will appear in the Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Guardian and Daily Telegraph from 11 January 2016 to 6 February 2016.

In addition Fire Kills will be trialling ‘Out of Home’ advertising with this new campaign including some large format digital advertising in seven locations across the country (Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Portsmouth). It will also be supporting the large format digital activity with bus stop posters in pilot areas. These locations will be selected following analysis of campaign awareness levels and casualty data.

Safelincs has been supporting Fire Kills initiative to increase smoke alarm testing for a number of years and offers a free reminder service with tweet or email notifications.

Check your smoke alarms when the clocks go back

Fire Kills, part of the Department for  Communities and Local Government, will again be running its campaign to encourage us to test their smoke alarms at the same time as we put our clocks back at the end of October.

fire-kills-2Smoke alarm maintenance has long been the primary message of the Fire Kills national advertising. With smoke alarm ownership levels at around 88%, it is evident from the statistics and real-life cases that not all of these work. The latest evidence shows that you are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if you do not have a working smoke alarm.

Between April 2011 and March 2012 there were 380 fires deaths, many of which might have been avoided had smoke alarms been fitted. Indeed, there have been incidents where firemen at the scene of a tragedy have found that smoke alarms were present and the batteries had been allowed to go flat or, in some instances, removed to power other appliances.

The campaign will include advertisements on commercial radio stations. In the past it was felt that the campaigns lacked a catchy tag line which it now has – ‘Tick, Tock, Test!’

There will also be advertisements in the national press and and a social media campaign with videos on You Tube.

fire-kills-1

FireKills Advertisement Receives Award

Last year’s FireKills campaign has received a Yellow Pencil award by D&AD. The campaign was used to depict the effect of smoke and compared this to drowning.

FireKills is a governmental fire safety promotion campaign in which Safelincs Ltd is stakeholder. The short film created for last year’s campaign is very hard hitting and shows a couple asleep in a bed underwater. The voiceover of the film makes the comparison to toxic smoke by stating that you only need two or three breaths to be rendered unconscious.

Safelincs would like to congratulate all at FireKills on this prestigious award. View the short film

Test it, change it, replace it – it might save your life!

We are offering a new service, completely free of charge, that will remind households  to check that their smoke alarms are in working condition and will actually protect them in case of a fire.

This week the government’s Fire Kills campaign launched its new advertising series to promote fire safety in the home.  The focus of this year’s campaign is again on householders testing their alarms and replacing flat batteries. As stakeholders in the organisation, Safelincs are supporting this message with their new smoke alarm test reminder service.

Householders can register with the service and request notification by email or SMS when the next smoke alarm test is due.  You can decide the reminder frequency when registering with the service.  There are also options to request a reminder when the batterie needs replacing and the smoke alarm has come to the end of its useful life, which is usually after ten years.

To register with this free service, just visit www.safelincs.co.uk/reminders.

For their online customers, Safelincs have created further additions to this service. When you have placed an order with us, Safelincs offer to remind you about the regular tests your new fire safety equipment might require, e.g. the testing of your smoke alarms, the yearly service of your fire extinguishers, the regular testing of newly purchased emergency lighting ad more.

To benefit from this additional service, just order your fire safety equipment on www.safelincs.co.uk.