Our aim is to protect communities before emergencies occur and
to provide a professional, efficient and effective fire and rescue
service for all who live, work and travel throughout North
Keep warm but safe this winter
I'd like to take this opportunity to make sure that residents
ensure they stay warm but safe this winter and over the Christmas
On average North Wales Fire and Rescue Service attends between
one to two fires within the home every day - but over the Christmas
and the New Year period this rises to up to 3 fires in a
However welcoming an open fire may be, it's important to
remember that it is also a hazardous area. Sparks and embers
can find themselves thrown beyond the hearth and cause an
accidental fire, therefore use a fire or spark guard and make sure
that it has the kite mark or conforms to a relevant British /
standard. To help avoid injuries do not place objects on, over or
near the mantle-piece which may cause the items to catch fire. And
before you go to bed, let the fire burn down well and check the
hearth, floor and furnishings near the fire for hot sparks or
Have your chimney swept at least once a year, or more frequently
if you burn wood, and inspect your chimney breast regularly -
particularly in the roof space - to ensure that it is sound and
that sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken
bricks. Also, avoid burning resinous woods as soot builds up
quickly and ensure you burn only suitable fuels.
It's inevitable you might take additional measures to keep warm
during the cold winter nights, such as using electric blankets and
heaters - but these may bring an increased risk of fire into the
home which could have devastating consequences.
Remember to get electric blankets tested regularly and replaced
after a few years. Never use hot water bottles in the same bed as
an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off. Remember
to unplug electric blankets before you get
into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night
don't leave electric blankets folded as this damages the internal
store them flat or rolled up instead.
You might use additional heaters during the cold nights. If so
please remember to always keep portable heaters away from curtains
and furniture and never use them for drying clothes. Ensure you
unplug portable heaters when you go out and go to bed.
Over the last few months we've had a number of high profile
fires involving electrical items - the tragic fire in Llanrwst
where two men lost their lives in October is thought to have
started in a tumble dryer, and a family of five from Connah's Quay
had a lucky escape from a dishwasher fire in their home just last
Residents can help cut down on the risk of electrical fires in
their home by not overloading electrical outlets and avoiding
using counterfeit products as they are often not equipped to comply
with even the most basic safety standards. Also, keep an eye out
for frayed extension cords and don't run extension cords beneath
rugs or behind furniture-it may be walked on in a high-traffic
area, and could be hard to tell if it's overheating until it's too
late. Fires can also easily occur if clothes or paper fall
behind appliances as they can obstruct the air circulation and
cause the appliance to overheat.
And of course remember to test your smoke alarm once a week - it
could mean the difference between life and death.
For advice on winter safety please click here.