Fire service advice as people use money-saving hacks in ‘cost of living’ crisis

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service has provided some lifesaving advice after having to deal with a number of incidents causing by unsafe heating practices during the cost of living crisis. 

Firefighters across South Yorkshire are warning residents not to believe the money-saving ‘hacks’ shared online if it relates to fire safety. For example, residents have burned inappropriate and potentially toxic materials to try to save money.

One case saw a person suffer carbon monoxide poisoning after burning coal in a tin bucket in their living room.

Therefore, the service is requesting that residents in South Yorkshire prioritise fire safety before financial savings.

Firefighters also advised residents in the county to check their carbon monoxide and smoke alarms for functionality.

According to the statistics, 791 incidents of smoke alarms sounding and alerting people to a fire in their home occurred in the previous three years. In addition, there were 430 cases where smoke alarms weren’t present or didn’t work – meaning that the fire risk in these situations was greater.

They emphasise that not only available financial support, but the service also provides free home safety checks to those who are thought to be at an elevated risk of fire.

Smoke detector mounted on roof in apartment

Area manager Matt Gillatt, head of the joint police and fire community safety department, said:“We are aware that many people are facing cost pressure, but the pattern we are seeing around unsafe heating in homes is concerning. Our ask is that people ensure they save safely.”

The service is offering key advice to people, as part of this latest campaign, to keep safe:

  • Ensure you only purchase genuine electrical products from reliable vendors.
  • Ensure sure you fill your wood burners with the appropriate fuel.
  • Have a registered chimney sweep clean out your chimney once a year.
  • Ensure the smoke alarms in your home are operational on every level.

You can phone 0114 253 2314 if you think you’d benefit from a home safety check.

Written by Yifan Zou

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