Stay warm - but also stay safe

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people about the best ways to stay safe while staying warm this winter – especially with the cost of living still high.

Safe & Well Manager Sarah Moore said: “When the temperatures start to drop, we know that people get heaters and electric blankets out of storage, but we also know that lots of households are doing things differently to try and save money. Whether that’s using an open fire for the first time in years, or delaying essential maintenance of boilers, the risks could be far greater than any cash saving, so we’re urging everyone to take extra care and #SaveSafely.”

She added: “We are here to help and offer advice. If you are in doubt over any home fire safety issues, please do get in touch, and always remember to test your smoke detector every week, as working smoke detectors save lives. We’d also recommend carbon monoxide alarms to warn against the risk of CO poisoning – it could be the best thing you buy this year.”

Safety advice includes:

  • Do not use camping stoves, barbecues or patio heaters indoors. They can cause carbon monoxide poisoning - even if you have doors and windows open, they should only be used outside.
  • Check electric heaters or electric blankets that haven’t been used for a while as these can be a fire risk. Watch for signs of dangerous or loose wiring, such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that often blow, or circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reasons. Electric blankets should be stored flat or rolled up, as storing them folded may damage the internal wiring.
  • Make sure you are using the right heater in the right place. Standard gas or electric portable heaters must not be used in shower rooms or bathrooms. Portable gas heaters should only be used in well-ventilated rooms and never in bedrooms. Outdoor heaters should never be used indoors.
  • If you are drying clothes indoors, keep them well away from heat sources, so they don’t catch fire.
  • If you have an open fire or wood burner, make sure you get your chimney swept - this is essential to reduce the risk of chimney fires. Also be careful what you burn; green (unseasoned) wood may seem cheap, but it doesn’t generate much heat and it creates a residue that can easily catch alight within the chimney.
  • Make sure you get your boiler serviced, as a well-maintained boiler is more efficient and reduces the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using wheat bags – don’t heat them for too long, or at too high a temperature.

More advice on how to #SaveSafely this winter can be found at 

Source: DW Fire