Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service urges people to stay safe this winter despite cost pressures

As people look to keep warm and cut energy use over the coming months, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is urging them to take simple steps to avoid accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning this winter. The call comes following concerns that the cost of living rise will mean people turn to alternative ways of heating and lighting their homes. HWFRS is therefore supporting NFCC’s Fire Kills campaign to provide advice to help reduce the fire risks in the home. As part of the campaign, HWFRS is encouraging people to complete an online home fire safety check for themselves or their loved ones. By answering a few simple questions, it will provide fire safety advice specific to you and tips on how to keep you and your household safe from fire. You can find it at HFSC ( and for those most at risk of fire, we can visit your home to provide help and advice. Top Tips to ‘Stay Fire Safe’

  • Check you have working smoke alarms – this is crucial and you need at least one on each level of the home.
  • Check alarms are working by pushing the test button at least once a week – why not test it on a Tuesday.
  • Where you have a heating appliance that doesn’t run off electricity, we recommend installing a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm – it’s the only way to detect this harmful, colourless, odourless gas which can be fatal.
  • Where people can only heat one room and are using it for both living and sleeping, it is vital that they can clearly hear alarms so they can be alerted to a fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide when asleep.
  • If you’re smoking or lighting candles in your home, please take care not to set light to anything and check the HWFRS website for safety advice.
  • Buy electrical chargers and batteries from a reputable source.
  • Charge e-bike or e-scooter batteries in an outdoor location, such as a garage, to reduce potential fire hazards.
  • Keep a watchful eye when using your airfryer – avoid overcrowding appliances and make sure there is proper ventilation

Other points to help keep you safe

  • Check your heating appliances are in good working order and not subject to a product recall by checking at Office for Product Safety and Standards
  • Ensure flammable items such as furniture and drying clothes are placed well away from heaters and fires.
  • Check your escape routes – make sure they are clear from clutter and items such as portable heaters are not blocking them.
  • Ensure you use the correct fuel for woodburning stoves and open fires – to reduce the risk of toxic fumes, chimney fires and CO poisoning.
  • Don’t skip servicing of boilers and gas appliances, with the risk of gas leaks and CO poisoning – you can find Gas Safe registered engineers for your area by calling 0800 408 5500 or visit
  • You can sign up to a free annual gas safety check reminder service at
  • ‘Trust the Triangle’: always ask to see an engineer’s Gas Safe ID card to make sure they are qualified to check or fit the appliance in question.
  • For solid fuel appliance fitting and servicing, contact the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS), and for oil appliances, contact the Oil Firing Technical Association
  • For electric heaters, please make sure you use a qualified electrician for electric heaters, with a wealth of advice at – remember you can register your appliance with them and use their Product Recall Checker to see if it has been recalled due to faults.
  • Landlords must arrange for an annual gas safety check in rented accommodation. If you’re a homeowner: check your energy provider’s website for information about their Priority Services Register – if you’re eligible they often offer a free annual gas safety check along with other support. Changes to regulations now mean landlords must fit smoke alarms in all homes, and CO alarms where there is a fixed combustion heating appliance in rented accommodation. We also advise tenants to ensure their landlord is complying to help keep them safe. Louise Schiffmann, Prevention Team Leader at HWFRS, said:
    “It’s vital that as we all cope safely with the rise in the cost of living – we shouldn’t put ourselves or our loved ones at risk. Over the coming months, we will be working to support our community, help keep people safe and reduce the risk of a devastating accidental fire. “There is plenty of fire safety advice at and at, and you can contact our Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155 to see if you might qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit. “You can also complete a FREE online Home Fire Safety check now by following the link on our website. This easy-to-follow home fire safety check will take you through your home a room at a time – the simple questions will help you spot fire risks as you go around your home. “Don’t forget that extra Government help is out there – you can find out more from GOV.UK at Help with your energy bills – Help for Households”

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