Due to a rise in the cost of living, it is anticipated that people may look at alternative ways of heating and lighting their homes. Scotland’s fire and rescue service is warning that changing behaviours could put households at risk of accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
To raise awareness to help to keep people safe, SFRS and other fire and rescue services across the UK are backing the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Stay Fire Safe campaign.
This aims to provide advice regarding the hazards associated with, and guidance for the safe use of portable heaters, electric blankets, wood burning stoves and candles, as well as highlighting chimney safety – a potential fire risk if they have not been cleaned or properly maintained.
Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, Head of Prevention and Protection for SFRS, said: “Fuel poverty and rises in the cost of living are a real concern as we anticipate seeing a change in behaviours at home as people try to cope with rising costs.
“We want to ensure that people are aware of potential dangers and keep themselves and their loved ones safe at home.
“People could inadvertently be putting themselves at risk from fire and the deadly effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.”
DACO Perry is asking people to exercise caution and consider key steps to keep themselves and their families safe, adding: “We remind people not to use camping stoves or barbecues indoors, to use the correct fuels for woodburning stoves and open fires and if using candles, to use these safely, or use LED lights or torches. Also, be aware of potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning if using old or unfamiliar heaters.
“We will be providing information as we continue to work with our partners and engage with our communities to help keep them safe from accidental fires.
“We also remind people of our Make the Call campaign and to look out for others. If you know someone who is over 50 and smokes, and who has either mobility issues or used medical oxygen or lives alone, please arrange a Home Fire Safety Visit on their behalf.”
If you know of someone who needs a Home Fire Safety Visit get in touch by calling 0800 0731 999. Or text FIRE to 80800. Help to support those who are most at risk of fire.
Check any heating appliances are in good working order and not subject to a product recall by checking the Office for Product Safety and Standards website for any alerts or recalls