Date Added: 26th November
Press Officer: Sarah Lander
Telephone: 01243 752448

To get a flavour of a day in the day in the life of WSF&RS follow #ourday at Twitter

A SELECTION OF INCIDENTS ATTENDED BY WSFRS 9AM TUESDAY 25TH NOVEMBER TO 9AM WEDNESDAY 26TH NOVEMBER

Tuesday

Call Ref: 11213
Time: 15:41-16:36
Location: HOUSE - HIGH STREET CHILGROVE
Incident: Chimney fire - chimney equipment used by WSF&RS - advice given to occupier - WrL Chichester


Call Ref: 11221
Time: 17:02-17:49
Location: OFFICE BUILDING - BROOKLANDS ROAD LANCING
Incident: Flooding - water leak for tank in roof coming through ceiling - water isolated by WSF&RS - occupier advised to contact plumber and electrician - WrL Worthing

Call Ref: 11232
Time: 22:25-22:42
Location: HOUSE UNDER CONSTRUCTION - ASHACRE LANE SALVINGTON
Incident: Flooding - rainwater coming through roof - salvage undertaken by WSF&RS - occupier advised to contact builder - WrL Worthing



Wednesday

-


WrL Water Tender Ladder
L4T Four Wheel Drive Vehicle with Water Tank
CU Command Unit
HR Hose Reel
RIB Rigid Inflatable Boat
BA Breathing Apparatus
HRT Heavy Rescue Tender
ALP Aerial Ladder Platform
BASU - Breathing Apparatus Support Unit
WrC Water Carrier
PPV Fan Positive Pressure Ventilation fan
TIC Thermal Imaging Camera
FIO Fire Investigation Officer
TRU Technical Rescue Unit










Date Added: 18th November 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

CHIP PAN FIRES SPARK SAFETY WARNING FROM FIREFIGHTERS

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care when cooking with hot oil following two chip pan fires in the space of just three days.

Firefighters were called to a house on Crabtree Lane in Lancing at 6.10pm yesterday evening after a chip pan caught light on the kitchen hob. This incident followed another chip pan fire at a bungalow in Selsey on Friday evening. Thankfully, both fires were extinguished quickly and none of the occupiers sustained injury.

Watch this short video clip to see just how dangerous oil fires in the home can be.

Community Fire Safety Officer, Jackie Boyle, said:

"Thankfully, both these fires were contained quickly but the outcome could have been far more serious. Pans filled with hot oil are potentially extremely dangerous so extra vigilance is needed. Leaving them unattended, even momentarily, is long enough for a fire to develop.

"The first line of defence against any fire is having a working smoke alarm. Getting that early warning to a developing fire is a proven life-saver. It also means that damage to your property can be kept to a minimum. Every home should have one."

Tips on frying safely:

. Most kitchen fires occur when people leave things unattended, so don't let yourself be distracted while cooking, if you are called away from the cooker take pans off the heat
. Never fill a chip pan (or other deep-fat fryer) more than one-third full of oil
. Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep-fat fryer - this will ensure that the fat does not get too hot

If a pan catches fire:

. Never use water on a chip pan fire, this could cause a potentially lethal fireball
. Don't move it - it is likely to be extremely hot
. Turn off the heat if it's safe to do so - but never lean over a pan to reach the controls
. Don't use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil - the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire
. If you have put the fire out, leave the pan to cool completely

For more advice on staying safe in the kitchen visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire or www.facebook.com/wsfrs or follow @WestSussexFire on Twitter.



Date Added: 23rd October 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

'DON'T ASSUME IT'S A FALSE ALARM' SAY FIREFIGHTERS AFTER WORTHING FLAT FIRE

A man was lucky to be rescued by firefighters last night after a blaze in his flat initially went undetected when the building's fire detection system was reset.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called to the three-storey block of flats on Rowlands Road in Worthing at 22:09pm after what was believed to be a false alarm turned out to be a small fire in a second floor flat.

A fire crew from Worthing were on the scene within 6 minutes of the 999 call and immediately carried out a thorough search of the building. They quickly discovered a smoke logged flat on the second floor of the property and were able to rouse the occupier, who was in bed, leading him to fresh air and safety. He was given oxygen therapy at the scene for mild smoke inhalation but did not go to hospital.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly extinguished the fire, which started as a result of unattended cooking, using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher, containing it to just the kitchen area.

Incident Commander Mark Upperton from Worthing Fire Station said afterwards:

"Many residential blocks of flats have linked and hard wired smoke detection systems which give occupiers an added level of protection. The resident in this case assumed the system was activating as a result of a false alarm and tried to reset the panel a number of times before dialling 999.

"We know that false alarms do happen - people perhaps burning their toast and so on - but it's vital not to assume it's a false alarm because lives could be put at risk. If people are in any doubt, they should always dial 999.

"We'd also like to remind people about the risk of cooking late at night, particularly if you are tired or not feeling well. Please make a safe choice and have something to eat that doesn't need to be cooked."

Did you know that West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers FREE Home Fire Safety Checks? Call 0800 3286487 or log onto www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire to find out if you are eligible.

- Ends -



Date Added: 19th September
Press Officer: Sarah Lander
Telephone: 01243 752448

Fire caused by tea Towels at Milland pub

Firefighters Midhurst and Liphook were called to the Rising Sun Pub in Iping road Milland at 5:04 this morning after a fire started in tea towels in the ground floor kitchen area.


The tea towels had been taken out of the tumble dryer earlier in the day, and whilst still hot and been bundled into a plastic box where they started smouldering.

The 6 occupants in the upstairs flat of the pub were alerted in the early hours of the morning by the smoke alarm on the ground floor of the pub, and on investigating saw that the pub was smoke logged.


On receiving the call the Sussex Control Centre operators who are highly trained and in contact with the fire engines on their way to the scene, remained on the phone with the occupants, giving them special fire survival guidance which included staying in the 1st floor room, until the arrival of the fire crews


Crew Commander Matt Gamblen who attended the scene said: The fire survival guidance the The Sussex Control Centre operators give is essential to follow. It means that the firefighters have detailed information that they can act on.


On arrival firefighters entered the complex layout of the pub and led the 6 occupants to safety.


The fire was extinguished using breathing apparatus and hose reels

Crew Commander Matt Gamblen "It is very important that laundry is not confined after coming straight out of a tumble dryer as there is always the possibility that this type of incident may occur."
He also urged people not to leave tumble dryers, dishwashers or washing machines running overnight


"We would also like to remind people about the danger of leaving appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers running overnight or while out. They can be a fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors."


Date Added: 26th August 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

DOZEN KITCHEN FIRES OVER BANK HOLIDAY SPARKS SAFETY WARNING FROM FIREFIGHTERS

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care when cooking after attending a dozen kitchen fires over the bank holiday weekend.

Between Saturday morning and Monday night (August 23-25) firefighters were called to 12 separate kitchen fires across the county. Most started as a result of cooking being left unattended. Two of the occupiers involved had to be led to safety and another needed treatment for smoke inhalation.

Careless cooking is the most common cause of accidental house fires in West Sussex with around two-thirds of all house fires starting in the kitchen.

Deputy Safer Communities Manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Adrian Carter, said:

"We work very hard as a Service to promote kitchen fire safety to the local community so attending this many in such a short space of time is a real concern. Thankfully, the fires were brought under control very quickly by our crews and haven't led to serious injury. However, the consequences could have been far more serious and many of them could easily have been avoided."

"The Home Fire Safety Checks that we have been carrying out over the last decade and the smoke detectors we have fitted undoubtedly means that many lives have been saved because people are getting an early warning of a fire. However, a smoke detector alone cannot prevent a fire starting in the first place so we are again urging people to take a few simple precautions to minimise the risk of a fire occurring" Adrian added.

Tips to stay safe in the kitchen:

. Kitchen fires often occur when people leave cooking unattended - if you are called away from the cooker then ensure you take pans off the heat

. Clean toasters, hobs and grill pans regularly to avoid a build up of crumbs or fat which can easily catch fire

. Cooking after drinking alcohol can be a recipe for disaster - consider having something that doesn't need to be cooked

. Don't put oven gloves or tea towels down onto a hot cooker after you've used them

. Never fill a chip pan (or other deep-fat fryer) more than one-third full of oil. Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep-fat fryer - this will ensure that the fat does not get too hot

. Never use water on a chip pan fire - it will create a potentially lethal fireball

. If a pan catches fire don't move it - it will be extremely hot

. Turn off the heat only if it's safe to do so - never lean over a pan to reach the controls

. If you do have a fire in the kitchen, don't take any risks - get everyone out and dial 999.

To find out if you are eligible for a Home Fire Safety Check call 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire where you can also access a full range of fire safety advice.


Date Added: 20th August 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

SPATE OF CHIP PAN FIRES PROMPTS SAFETY WARNING FROM FIREFIGHTERS

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care when cooking with hot oil following a spate of chip pan fires across the county.

Within the last fortnight, firefighters have been called to 3 separate chip pan fires in Elmer, Bognor Regis and East Preston. All three fires were caused by the pan being left unattended on the cooker hob. Thankfully, none of the occupiers involved sustained serious injury.

Careless cooking is the most common cause of accidental house fires in West Sussex with around two-thirds of all house fires starting in the kitchen. West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service works hard to raise awareness of the dangers of hot oil, using Fire Station Open Days and community events to dramatically demonstrate how easily a small oil fire can become a potentially lethal fireball.

Community Fire Safety Officer, Jackie Boyle, said:

"Many people assume that chip pans are a thing of the past. These three incidents in such a short space of time certainly prove otherwise. Pans filled with hot oil are extremely dangerous and even leaving them unattended momentarily is long enough for a fire to develop.

"One of the occupiers involved took a very serious gamble by attempting to carry the burning pan outside. This could easily have caused burns that would have lasted a lifetime and spread a fire through their home. Our advice is to get everyone out and call us, rather than try and tackle it yourself.

Tips on frying safely:

. Most kitchen fires occur when people leave things unattended, so don't let yourself be distracted while cooking, if you are called away from the cooker take pans off the heat
. Never fill a chip pan (or other deep-fat fryer) more than one-third full of oil
. Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep-fat fryer - this will ensure that the fat does not get too hot

If a pan catches fire:

. Don't move it - it is likely to be extremely hot
. Turn off the heat if it's safe to do so - but never lean over a pan to reach the controls
. Don't use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil - the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire
. If you have put the fire out, leave the pan to cool completely.

Having a working smoke alarm in your house could save your life - make sure you are protected.

For more advice on staying safe in the kitchen call the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Community Safety Team on 01243 642879 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

Pic: http://www.wsfb.co.uk/pictures/200814/pic6.jpeg (open in separate window)


Date Added: 18th August 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

FIREFIGHTERS URGE SMOKERS TO 'PUT IT OUT, RIGHT OUT' FOLLOWING CRAWLEY FLAT FIRE

Firefighters are urging people to ensure their cigarettes are extinguished properly following a flat fire in Crawley yesterday afternoon.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called to the two-storey block of flats on Ewhurst Road at 4.55pm yesterday (August 17) after a cigarette left unextinguished set light to a sofa causing significant damage to the ground floor property.

The occupier, a man in his 50s, was out of the property when the blaze started. Thankfully, because West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service had previously carried out a Home Fire Safety Check at the property, the flat was protected by a Careline System with a specialist 'Firelink' smoke alarm. This meant that an operator at a 24-hr monitoring centre was automatically alerted to the fire and could place the 999 call to the Fire Service.

A fire crew from Crawley was at the scene within 5 minutes of the alarm being raised and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly extinguished the blaze using hose reels preventing it from spreading.

Smoking is still the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home. In the last 2 years in West Sussex, two thirds of all fatal house fires have been smoking related.

Fire Investigation Officer at the incident, David Shaw, said afterwards:

"The most important piece of advice we can offer to smokers is to make sure you use an ashtray and extinguish your cigarettes fully when you have finished smoking. Please take extra care if you are tired or have been drinking and never smoke in bed."

"We'd like to remind people that we offer free Home Fire Safety Checks to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. Priority is given to those who are elderly or more vulnerable. Call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire"

West Sussex Fire & Rescue offer the following simple safety advice to smokers:

. Stub out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully
. Use a proper ashtray - never a wastepaper basket
. Make sure your ashtray can't tip over and is made of material that won't burn
. Take extra care when you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that can make you drowsy - it's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning
. Don't smoke in bed - if you need a lie down, don't light up. It's too easy to doze and for bedding to catch light
. Keep all matches and lighters well out of the reach of children
. Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance and start a fire

Pic: the fire damaged sofa http://www.wsfb.co.uk/pictures/180814/pic2.jpg (open in separate window)


BOGNOR FLAT FIRE SPARKS SAFETY WARNING FROM FIREFIGHTERS


Date Added: 8th August 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

Firefighters are reminding people of the dangers of late night cooking and drinking after a man had to be rescued from a fire in his Bognor flat in the early hours of this morning.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called to the two-storey block of flats on Manor Way in Elmer at 12.53am this morning after the occupier of the ground floor flat, a man in his 50s who had been drinking, fell asleep leaving a pan burning on the hob.

Fortunately, the flat was fitted with an working smoke detector, which alerted the occupier of a neighbouring flat to the developing fire. The quick-acting neighbour forced entry to the ground floor flat and rescued the sleeping occupier before raising the alarm. Both men were later taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

A crew from Bognor Fire Station was on the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised and saw smoke and flames pouring from the flat's windows and door, which had blown out from the intensity of the fire. Three additional fire crews were immediately requested while the initial firefighting operations got underway.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus carried out a search of the whole block of flats but thankfully all the occupiers had already safely evacuated. The blaze was then quickly brought under control and extinguished using jets and hoses. The flat sustained considerable fire, smoke and heat damage. Two neighbouring flats were also damaged by fire and smoke.

Incident Commander and Green Watch Manager from Bognor Fire Station, Jon Etherington, said afterwards:

"This man had a very lucky escape. Had it not been for the neighbour's brave actions, this may very well have ended in tragedy. While we would remind people not to put themselves in harm's way by entering a property they believe is on fire, we would urge people to act if they hear a smoke alarm going off for any length of time in a neighbouring property. Don't ignore it, call 999, you may just save a life."

"This is not an isolated incident. Cooking is by far the most common cause of house fire we attend. We'd ask people to think twice about getting the pan out if they are very tired or have been drinking; it really is a recipe for disaster. Don't take the risk of putting the hob or grill on; just make something that doesn't need to be cooked instead."


"We're very thankful that the man's home was fitted with a working smoke alarm, although he wasn't roused by it, his neighbour was and that made a life-saving difference. If you have an older or vulnerable relative or neighbour who hasn't got a working smoke alarm, then please encourage them to get in touch with us for a free Home Fire Safety Check."

To request a Home Fire Safety Check call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

- Ends -




Date Added: 6th August 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

FIREFIGHTERS ISSUE BONFIRE WARNING AFTER MAN SUFFERS BURNS

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging the public to take extra care when lighting bonfires after a man sustained burns to his face yesterday afternoon.

A fire crew from East Grinstead were called to Rowplatt Lane in Felbridge at 4.19pm yesterday (August 5) after a 28-year old man attempted to start a bonfire with petrol and the flames flashed up into his face.

The bonfire was out prior to the arrival of the fire crew and the man was treated by South East Coast Ambulance Service. He was subsequently taken to hospital.

Incident Commander and Watch Manager at East Grinstead Fire Station, Kim Taylor, said afterwards:

"People are sometimes tempted to use petrol, paraffin or lighter fluids if a bonfire is hard to light or to get going, but it is incredibly dangerous. It's very difficult to gauge quantities and you run the serious risk of the fire flashing up and burning you.

"Thankfully, his injuries aren't life-threatening but this incident certainly had the potential to be far more serious. If you are planning to light a bonfire, please just follow some basic safety rules so you don't come to harm."

West Sussex Fire & Rescue recommends the following advice when lighting a bonfire:

. Don't use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going - use fire lighters if a fire won't start readily.

. Build your bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees.

. Avoid having a bonfire in windy conditions - it increases the likelihood of the fire spreading out of control.

. Don't build it too big, and make sure it is stable.

. Don't burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - they can produce toxic fumes or explode.

. Don't leave your bonfire unattended or leave it smoulder when you have finished - make sure it is fully extinguished.

. If a bonfire does get out of control - don't risk injury by tackling it yourself, call 999.

. Let your neighbours know you are planning to have a bonfire or they may end up dialling 999.

For more information on recycling your garden waste log onto www.recyclingforwestsussex.org and for further fire safety advice call the Community Fire Safety team on 01243 642879.

- Ends -

Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448
10th June 2014

FIREFIGHTERS ISSUE BBQ WARNING FOLLOWING TWO FIRES


West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding people to take a little extra care with their alfresco cooking following fires in Chichester and Bognor yesterday evening believed to have been caused by disposable BBQs. Two fire crews from Chichester were needed to tackle a blaze in a recycling plant in Westhampnett shortly before 6pm last night. Thankfully, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were able to quickly extinguish the fire using hose reels and main jets. Although, at this stage, the cause of the fire is unknown, recycling staff reported seeing a number of disposable BBQs discarded in the rubbish.

Then, at 11.19pm last night two fire crews from Bognor were called to a blaze involving a disposable BBQ on the balcony of a 1st floor flat in Bognor High Street. Thankfully, the firefighters found the fire out on arrival but had to check the area with a thermal imaging camera and cut away part of the wooden decking to ensure it could not reignite.

Watch Commander at Chichester Fire Station, Carl Halewood, said afterwards:

"Both these incidents had the potential to be very serious indeed. Each year we are called to extinguish dozens of fires where BBQs have either got out of hand or where coals have been discarded carelessly.

"Now that the county is enjoying some hot weather we want to help people enjoy their summer socialising safely. By taking a few sensible precautions these kind of incidents are completely avoidable."

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service recommends these few simple precautions to ensure alfresco cooking stays safe:

. When using a disposable barbeque make sure the coals are completely cold before throwing them away.
. Don't leave your barbeque unattended at any time.
. Make sure that your barbeque is placed on clear level ground where it will not tip over.
. Use approved barbeque fuel or firelighters to light it, never petrol or paraffin.
. Keep barbeques away from the house, shed, fences, garden furniture or overhanging trees and shrubs.
. Keep children and pets well away from the cooking area.
. Empty any spent ash on to bare soil, not into a dustbin.
. If you are lighting a barbeque in the countryside or on the beach - check beforehand that it is an authorised area.

For a full range of fire safety advice visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire or call the Community Fire Safety Team on 01243 642879

ENDS

Date Added: 20th May 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

WEST SUSSEX FIREFIGHTERS ASSISTING WITH FLOOD RESCUE IN BOSNIA

Two firefighters from West Sussex have been deployed as part of the UK International Search and Rescue Team (UK ISAR) to support flood-affected communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mick Lewin and Charlie Eastwell are part of the UK team of 33 that also include firefighters from Hampshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, West Midlands, Mid and West Wales.

The call for international assistance came following large scale flooding and landslides in areas of Bosnia and Serbia which have buried homes and stranded thousands of people.

Mick and Charlie, both part of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service's Technical Rescue Unit, are working in the area of Tuzla and are primarily responsible for organising logistics for the UK team.

The Uk team, who are using a range of water response equipment including 4 rigid inflatable boats, have already carried out 42 rescues including a number of vulnerable and elderly people who were trapped and unable to swim to safety. The team have also been delivering vital food and water supplies to those choosing to stay in their homes.

Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex, Sean Ruth, said:

"We're proud that we have a specialist team of firefighters in West Sussex who are trained and equipped to respond to this kind of disaster locally, nationally and internationally. We don't yet know how long the mission will last but the team are self-sufficient for 10 days and are working round the clock to support this life-saving search and rescue operation."

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service's Technical Rescue Unit is one of twenty-one specialist search and rescue teams strategically situated around the UK.

The teams are primarily funded by central Government through its New Dimensions programme. The programme, which was launched following 9/11, provides the UK with a more resilient response to major incidents such as widespread flooding, structural collapses, terrorist attack and transport emergency. Thirteen of these teams are trained to be deployed oversees as part of the UK response when a foreign government appeals for help after a natural disaster.

The Technical Rescue Unit consists of 12 specially trained West Sussex firefighters who have been part of the International Search & Rescue (ISAR) team who have responded to recent international rescue missions in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan. The two members on this deployment and their home locations are:

Crew Manager Mick Lewin - Billingshurst
Firefighter Charlotte (Charlie) Eastwell - Hove

ENDS



Date Added: 15th May 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

REFLECTED SUNLIGHT SPARKS BEDROOM FIRE IN TURNERS HILL

Firefigters in West Sussex are reminding people to check the positioning of their mirrors following a fire in Turners Hill earlier today (15 May).

Crews from East Grinstead and Crawley were called to the terraced house on East Street in Turners Hill at 11.25 this morning after a make-up mirror on a bedroom table reflected sunlight onto the curtains which smouldered and then caught light.

Thankfully, the property was fitted with a working smoke detector and although the occupier was out at the time a neighbour heard the detector activating and raised the alarm.

On arrival fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the house and quickly put the fire out using a hose reel and carbon dioxide extinguisher, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the property.

Crew Commander from East Grinstead Fire Station, Keith Lanaway, said afterwards:

"This may sound like a freak incident, but it isn't the first time our fire service has attended a fire starting in this way. Our advice is, wherever possible; make sure mirrors and glass ornaments are not positioned in strong sunlight or on windowsill.

"It also highlights, once again, the importance of every home having a working smoke alarm. Even though the occupier wasn't at home, the alarm caught the attention of a neighbour who dialled 999. Had the property not had a working smoke alarm, the fire could have developed into something much more serious."

Did you know that West Sussex Fire & Rescue offer FREE Home Fire Safety Checks. Find out if you are eligible by calling 0800 328 6487 or visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

ENDS

Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

SMOKE ALARM SAVES WOMAN FROM WALBERTON FLAT FIRE

Firefighters from Arundel and Bognor were called to the flat above the Holly Tree Pub in The Street, Walberton at 1.36am this morning after a fire started in a tumble dryer on the 1st floor.A woman from Walberton was able to escape safely from a flat fire in the early hours of this morning thanks to a working smoke alarm.

The occupier, a woman in her forties, was asleep in bed when tea towels, left in the machine following a drying cycle, ignited. Thankfully, the flat was fitted with a working smoke alarm which activated and alerted the woman to the developing fire giving her the time she needed to escape safely.

On arrival firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and extinguished the blaze using a hose reel and covering jet. The woman, suffering from mild smoke inhalation, was given oxygen therapy by the fire crew at the scene but did not need hospital treatment.

Incident Commander from Arundel Fire Station, Richard Tout, said afterwards:

"This is another example of where a working smoke alarm has potentially saved a life. The lady was asleep in bed and had the smoke alarm not alerted her, this fire could have had tragic consequences. Because the smoke alarm gave that vital early warning, the woman closed her internal doors, preventing the fire from spreading, and escaped safely.

"We would also like to remind people about the danger of leaving appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers running overnight or while out. They can be a fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors."

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offer free Home Fire Safety Checks where firefighters visit homes by appointment to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service particularly want to hear from those who are:

. Are 65 or over and live alone
. Have a physical disability or frailty affecting their ability to either summon help or escape in an emergency
. Use a Community Alarm or Emergency Monitoring service like Careline or Lifeline
. Have a sensory impairment or difficulty hearing a standard smoke alarm
. Have a cognitive impairment affecting their ability to remember things or retain information, such as dementia

To request a Home Fire Safety Check call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

ENDS


Date: 20th March 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

FIREFIGHTERS TACKLING BLAZE AT MILLAIS SCHOOL IN HORSHAM

More than 30 firefighters are currently tackling a blaze at Millais School in Horsham. The fire is now under control and there are no reported injuries.

All staff and pupils were safely evacuated prior to the arrival of fire crews.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were called to the school on Depot Road at 14.52 this afternoon after a fire was reported on the 3rd floor of the 3-storey building.

Firefighters from Horsham were at the scene within 7 minutes of the alarm being raised. On arrival smoke was seen issuing from the roof so four additional crews were immediately requested.

Crews are fighting the fire using 8 breathing apparatus wearers, 6 jets as well as an aerial ladder platform so the blaze can be tackled from above.

Depot Road is currently closed between the juntion with Orchard Road to the west and Comptons Lane to the east. Police are advising parents wishing to collect their children to do so via Highlands Road to the south of the school.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

ENDS

Date Added: 18th February 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 642880

RIVER RESCUE PROMPTS WARNING FROM FIREFIGHTERS

Firefighters in West Sussex are warning people about the dangers of playing in water after being called to rescue a boy who got into trouble on the River Lavant yesterday evening.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were called to the stretch of river in the Hornet in Chichester shortly after 6pm last night after the 12-year old, who was playing on a makeshift raft with two friends, fell into the water and was swept downstream.

The force of the water carried the boy dangerously close to the culvert pipe, where the river goes under the city, before he managed to pull himself onto a small brick ledge.

A crew from Chichester Fire Station were on the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised and were able to reach the boy using a system of ladders and ropes. The boy, who was suffering from cold and shock, was treated at the scene by paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service but did not need hospital treatment.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Incident Commander in charge of the rescue, Kim Taylor, said afterwards:

"This young lad had a very lucky escape because this could have been a much more serious incident. If he had been swept a few more feet downstream into that culvert pipe then I have no doubt we would be talking about a tragic outcome.

"This incident really does highlight how dangerous playing on, or wading into, water can be. The protracted period of rain and higher than usual water levels mean that the risks are even greater at the moment. However, even if the water doesn't look deep it can still be highly dangerous. Our advice is simple - don't put yourself or others at risk just stay out of the water."

ENDS

Date Added: 10th February 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

FIREFIGHTERS ISSUE SAFETY WARNING AS CHIMNEY FIRES INCREASE

A rise in chimney fires across the county has sparked a safety warning from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

Since Friday (7-9 February) firefighters have been called to 9 separate chimney fires in Amberley, Rudgwick, Crawley, Southwick, Storrington, East Preston, South Harting, East Grinstead and Bepton. Thankfully, the responding crews were able to extinguish the blazes quickly and prevent them from spreading, but chimney fires can be devastating.

Chimney fires are one of the most frequent incidents attended by the Fire Service. During 2013 (January 1 - December 31) West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service attended 220 chimney fires across the county.

Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said:

"We all know the weather has been miserable of late so it's only natural that people are turning to open fires to keep warm and cosy, but if basic safety precautions aren't followed they can become a serious fire hazard. The best piece of advice we can give to anyone planning to light a fire is to make sure they get their chimney checked and swept each year.

"Of course, you should also make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home - that early warning to a fire really is a lifesaver and means damage to your property can hopefully be kept to a minimum."

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following advice:

- Have your chimney swept at least once a year, twice a year if burning wood.
- When burning wood, use dry, seasoned woods only.
- Build smaller, hotter fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes or waste paper.
- Never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire.
- Do not overload the grate or appliance.
- Use a fire or spark guard to prevent accidental fires.
- Ensure the fire is fully extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Make sure wood burners and other fire appliances are installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

To find your local chimney sweep, contact the National Association of Chimney Sweeps on freephone 0800 833464 or www.nacs.org.uk

Fire safety advice is free and easy to access from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service call 01243 642879 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

Date added: 8th July 2014
Press Officer: Sarah Smith
Telephone: 01243 752448

CRAWLEY FLAT FIRE SPARKS SMOKE ALARM PLEA

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes after fire seriously damaged a flat in Crawley this morning.

Firefighters were called to a block of flats on Coxcombe Walk in Bewbush just before 9am this morning after an incense stick is believed to have ignited a fire in a ground floor flat. The property had no working smoke alarm and the fire is believed to have smouldered undetected for some time.

A crew from Crawley were on the scene within 5 minutes of the 999 alarm being raised and, on seeing smoke pouring from the flat window, immediately requested two additional crews to assist.

The occupier, who had managed to escape prior to the arrival of fire crews, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A breathing apparatus team immediately entered the heavily smoke-logged property to rescue the occupier's pet dog and rabbit. Sadly, although the dog was given oxygen therapy by firefighters, it died at the scene.

The blaze was quickly extinguished by fire crews using hose reels and a covering jet but the flat was left severely damaged by both fire and smoke, leaving it temporarily uninhabitable. Welfare, advice and support for the occupiers was provided by Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service volunteers.

Incident Commander, Paul Barber, said afterwards:

"Sadly, a family have lost a beloved pet, but had the occupier's children been in at the time of the fire, the consequences could have been even more tragic. We urge people to make sure they have a working smoke alarm in their home. It is the only thing that can guarantee you that life-saving early warning to a developing fire.

"Don't forget we offer free Home Fire Safety Checks where we'll visit homes by appointment to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. We give priority to those who are elderly or more vulnerable."

"We also want to remind people to take extra care with candles and incense burners. Please make sure you place then in suitable holders and on stable, heatproof surface and only burn them when you are in the room."

Would you or someone you know benefit from a Home Fire Safety Check? West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service particularly want to hear from those who are:

. Over 65
. A lone parent
. Disabled or with an impairment
. Single adult living alone
. Immobile or without assistance

To request a Home Fire Safety Check call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire