Fire service campaign urges Wigan residents to 'stay warm safely' in winter months

Wigan residents are being urged to take care when heating their homes this winter, in a bid to cut the number of fires.
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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has launched a new campaign named Stay Warm Safely This Winter, which aims to reduce heating-related incidents, injuries and deaths during the colder months.

It comes after 150 fires were caused by fireplaces and portable heaters in Greater Manchester between April 2018 and October 2021, and 44 people were injured as a result.

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There were 38 incidents involving heaters, fires and other heating equipment in 2021 alone.

People are being urged to be careful around fireplaces and heatersPeople are being urged to be careful around fireplaces and heaters
People are being urged to be careful around fireplaces and heaters

Area manager Paul Duggan, head of prevention at the fire service, 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.

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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.

Mr Duggan said: “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”.

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For more information about the campaign, visit the fire service's website.

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