Fire Safety Week starts on Monday and the main theme will be ‘STOP Fire – Smoke Alarms Save Lives’

Ballymena Fire Station.

FIRE Safety Week will take place from 5th to 9th October and the main theme will be ‘STOP Fire – Smoke Alarms Save Lives.’

This year, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) will be highlighting and promoting ‘Safer Together through COVID-19.’

This will emphasise the need to continue “the crucial, collaborative, work it does with both partner agencies and the community to identify people at risk from fire”, a spokesperson said in a statement to ‘Ballymena Daily’.

In highlighting the importance of Fire Safety Week, Station Commander Alan Barr from NIFRS Ballymena District said: “Unfortunately due to COVID related restrictions, NIFRS cannot engage with the community in its normal manner.

“However, we have developed alternative methods of providing fire safety advice, including the use of food parcel schemes issued by partner agencies to incorporate fire safety messages and through increased social media messaging.

“During Fire Safety week, NIFRS will be advertising its amended Home Fire Safety check process. This is to ensure that the community are aware that advice will still be offered, albeit with COVID related restrictions.

“In the course of the week NIFRS will be encouraging the community to ‘know their neighbour.’ This will involve highlighting the importance of checking in with friends, neighbours and family members who may be vulnerable, living alone or more at risk from fire and making sure they have a smoke alarm which is tested weekly.

“NIFRS will be promoting ‘Prevent Harm, Raise the Alarm,’ which includes information on the actions you should take if you hear a neighbour’s smoke alarm.

“NIFRS uses the STOP fire message to deliver its fire safety message to the community. This is a very simple message asking the following questions:

Smoke alarm – do you have a working smoke alarm?
Test it – do you test it each week?
Obvious dangers – do you know the ‘Obvious Dangers’ from fire?
Plan your escape route – do you have an escape plan if a fire starts?

“Two of the obvious dangers will be highlighted. These are cooking and smoking where the obvious hazards associated with them will be focussed upon.

“These messages will be advertised on television, radio and on the Twitter and Facebook accounts of both NIFRS HQ and NIFRS North,” said Station Commander Barr.

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