A campaign to highlight safer heating in winter has been launched by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).
It comes after 150 fires were caused by fireplaces and portable heaters in Greater Manchester over the past three years (April 2018 to October 2021) and 44 people were injured as a result.
There were 38 incidents involving heaters, fires, and other heating equipment in 2021 alone.
The campaign 'Stay Warm Safely This Winter' aims to reduce heating related incidents, injuries, and fatalities during the colder months.
Area Manager Paul Duggan, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said: "Our crews have responded to 150 incidents in the past three years caused by heaters or fires. Some of these incidents left people injured and others caused serious damage to people’s homes. All of them were preventable and that’s why we are launching this campaign.
“If you are using heaters or fires to keep your house warm in the winter there are some simple steps you can take to stay safe. Make sure you turn off or put out any heaters and fires before leaving the house or sleeping, keep them one metre away from curtains and clothing, and check they are still safe to use.”
Other advice includes:
- Keep your distance – never sit too close to fires and use a fireguard, particularly if you have an open fire or if you have children or pets in the home.
- Get it checked – check if your heater is on a recall list and make sure any heaters and fires are in good working order and serviced regularly.
- Don’t forget to always switch off and put out any fires and heaters before you leave the house or go to sleep.
- Make sure to fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them weekly.
Area Manager Duggan continued: “GMFRS has recently launched a new Online Home Fire Safety Check tool so please take 10 minutes out of your day today to do a home fire safety check and help keep yourself and your family safe”.
To complete a home fire safety check, identify fire hazards in your home, and get advice on simple changes you can make to reduce your risk of a fire, visit Online Home Fire Safety Check
For more information about the campaign, visit the GMFRS website.