Stay safe, stay home & make sure young people stay home too

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) are here for you and will continue to respond to emergencies throughout the current Coronavirus pandemic.

We are asking the people of Merseyside to help us by staying at home - as directed by the Government - and ensuring that children and teenagers are also at home and not going out, where they might become involved in anti-social behaviour including setting fires.

Responding to deliberately-set fires can endanger lives by taking vital firefighting resources away from other emergencies – and deliberate fires could even lead to fatalities themselves.

Measures are being taken to ensure that our frontline firefighters and staff are protected to make sure we can continue to provide a service.

Mark Thomas, Group Manager Prevention at MFRS, said: “These are unprecedented, tough times for everyone but we want the public to know that we are doing all we can to keep them safe. However, now more than ever, it is essential that our services are not stretched.

“With so many people now working or doing schoolwork at home and the days set to get longer and the weather warmer and sunnier, we would like to remind people that they need to stay indoors for the vast majority of the time and not gather in groups outdoors – and ensure that children and young people are doing the same.

“If your child or children go out, make sure you know where they are going and why – it should only be to purchase essential food or to exercise alone. They should not be meeting up with friends.”

Many members of our community will now be spending more time at home than usual, with some of us forced to self-isolate. MFRS understands how stressful this can be and that’s why we want to make sure people stay as safe as possible.

During the outbreak, we have taken the decision to reduce some of our prevention activity where the risk of fire is low, and we have suspended the use of our fire stations by community groups. We will also avoid visiting hospitals and care homes – except in cases of high risk or emergency – as we do wish to put anyone at risk.

Equally, we want to ensure that our firefighters are not put at risk for both their welfare and in order to maintain an effective emergency response.

We will continue as always, 24/7, 365 days a year to keep everyone in Merseyside safe.

We will be posting advice on our social media feeds about keeping yourself safe from fire – please take notice and always remember, if there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

Follow these tips to stay safe from fire:

• Smoke alarms – smoke alarms save lives but only if they’re working and in the right place. You should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Consider installing additional alarms in rooms with electrical appliances or sleeping areas. Don't put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam could set them off accidentally. NEVER take the batteries out of your smoke alarm to put into another electrical device.

• Heaters – keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials. NEVER use heaters to dry clothes. ALWAYS switch off and unplug your heaters before going to bed.

• Smoking – if you smoke, use a proper ashtray and make sure it is placed on a level surface away from combustible materials. Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished. Don’t smoke in bed – you could easily fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and cause a fire.

• Candles – keep candles and tea lights away from anything that can catch fire. NEVER leave lit candles unattended – make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed. Consider using LED battery-operated candles instead.

• Cooking – make it a priority to keep cooking areas clear & clean from combustible materials. Make sure your oven and grill are clean – a build-up of fat or grease can cause a fire. DON’T leave pans unattended while cooking and NEVER leave children or pets unattended in the kitchen.

• Escape routes – make sure everyone in your household knows how to get out in the event of a fire. Ensure your escape routes are clear from any clutter. Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place.

• IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY. Please let us know if you are self-isolating. In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

During the current situation, we would ask those who are able to support elderly or vulnerable neighbours and relatives who are self-isolating due to their age or underlying health conditions, by picking up items from the shop and leaving them on their doorstep.