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Keeping you safe

We are working hard to ensure that we continue to keep our communities safe during the Covid19 outbreak.

Date : 19 May 2020


Staying Safe at Home

With more people staying at home, we are asking everyone to be extra careful, to avoid fires happening in the first place.

If you’re at home because you’re ill or self-isolating, please take extra care if you’re cooking. Most house fires start in the kitchen. Always ‘Look while you cook’.

Switch off any electrical items you’re not using.

If you use a charger, for a phone or laptop for example, don’t leave it plugged in and switched on when you’re asleep or not using it.

And if you use a portable heater, remember not to put it close to things that could easily catch fire, like bedding, clothes, soft furnishings or curtains.

If you smoke, be extra vigilant. Keep matches and lighters away from children, and double check that your cigarette is properly extinguished. Try not to smoke if you’ve been drinking alcohol, and avoid smoking in bed or if you’re feeling sleepy. If you can do so safely, smoke outdoors.

Home Safety Visits

To reduce the risk to you and our staff, we can now carry out special virtual "visits" over the phone where we can talk to you about the fire risk in your home, after which we may:

  • Post you further information leaflets AND / OR
  • Post you smoke alarms to fit yourself OR
  • If the risk is high and no one in your home is able to fit a smoke alarm we will take protective precautions and fit a smoke alarm for you in your home  

Please feel free to contact us, on behalf of a friend or relative, but we would just ask that you get their permission first and let them know that we will ask them a number of questions. 

If you would like to find out more about a Home Safety Visit, you can either:  

A member of our Community Safety Team will then be in contact to arrange a suitable time for a telephone chat. They will ask a few simple questions regarding your property and the occupants.  This will then help us determine how we will assist. 

Read more information.

Businesses  

Despite the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) it is important for businesses to continue carrying out duties relating to fire safety in their premises.

All businesses should therefore review their fire risk assessment and Emergency Procedures/Plans in light of the impact COVID-19 may be having on their staffing levels, operating times, business processes and evacuation arrangements. Read more guidance.

Responding to emergencies

We remain ready to respond to emergencies 24/7, with our stations closed to visitors to help reduce the chances of our crews coming into contact with the virus.

When we respond, we are likely to take additional precautions to prevent any potential spread of the virus.

Please follow any instructions you are given by our crews or our control centre 999 operators.

Working with partners

We are working closely with the Sussex Resilience Forum, health and local authority partners and following Government updates. 

Our website has a range of educational information which can be used by schools and parents, as well as advice for businesses and individuals. 

You can also sign up to our newsletter or find us on Twitter and Facebook. 

Looking ahead

We are working closely with the Sussex Resilience Forum and National Fire Chiefs Council nationally to assess the recovery impacts following Covid19.

Some changes to community risk have been very short term, such as the decrease in traffic and the increase in open fires (bonfires) and have changed again as the lockdown measures ease.

We have four areas of focus which we have reviewed and continue to assess in light of Covid and the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan Planning for a Safer Future.

Community Risk 

Public concern has naturally been high and it is suggested that people are likely to feel more vulnerable and less inclined to leave their homes or places of safety and therefore more at risk of isolation. 

We have been working closely with the local authority community hubs and other partners to ensure we reach the people who need us most. Our new approach to home safety phone calls is an example of this.

Supply chains

We have been putting measures in place due to issues with supply chains of certain commodities and access from some countries.

Economic impact

Local authorities are expecting more applicants to local Council Tax rebate schemes and work is underway to estimate with partners the potential impact on collection rates for the future. Similarly we are unclear on the precise impact for business rate collection and the risk assessments highlights a potential dip in collection rates for this. This could affect our future funding/financial position.

Legislative change

The revised Fire Safety Order came for its first reading in March and is expected to progress through Parliament this year. This change will impose further extension of Business Fire Safety legislation and require enhanced competency of our inspecting officers. 



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