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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Spread the warmth


Cheshire East Council and Age UK Cheshire, in association with their partners and the Local Adult Safeguarding Board, are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

The Council has put together a wealth of detail in one place at: where residents can find advice on a wide range of topics from heating, eating and winter safety to school closures and public transport.

This week, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service focuses on fire safety and being safe in the home.

Stay safe this Christmas

Cheshire East Council’s colleagues in the fire service are urging people to think about fire safety this Christmas.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to get their cookers cleaned before putting this year’s Christmas dinner in the oven.

More than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking – often when cookers and grills are left unattended.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock said: “Christmas and New Year is a great time to share with family and friends but, unfortunately, fires can easily start if people don’t take enough care. Therefore, I recommend that everyone has a working smoke alarm fitted in their home and also follows our safety tips so that they can enjoy the festivities safely.”

People are advised to:

· Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob;

· Make sure saucepan handles do not stick out – so they do not get knocked off the stove;

· Keep ovens and grill pans clean and free from grease and fat build up;

· Take care if wearing loose clothing – it can easily catch fire;

· Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob;

· Double check the cooker is off when the cooking is finished;

· Take care if leaving the kitchen while cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.

Unfortunately, national statistics show that people are 50 per cent more likely to be fatally injured in an accidental house fire during the Christmas period than at any other time of the year.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: “It is vital that people take extra care during Christmas and New Year celebrations. I urge residents to heed the fire service’s advice and also the handy tips and information available on Cheshire East Council’s website.”

People should also check that their electric blankets are safe and ‘if in doubt, don’t use it.’

Look out for these danger signs:

· Scorch marks or discolouration;

· Wires are visible or poking through the fabric;

· The fabric is frayed or worn;

· Damage to the electrical cord;

· The control makes a buzzing sound or smells;

· The connector is damaged or over-heating.

Remember not to use a hot water bottle and electric blanket together.

Sean Reynolds, chair of the Local Adult Safeguarding Board, said: “Winter is a time when the most vulnerable people need access to electrical items to help keep them warm. But they must ensure they are safe, particularly if the items are old.”

For more tips on how to stay safe both at home and on the roads or for advice about smoke alarms this Christmas, visit and for further detail, visit

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