Fire safety on the menu

Restaurants, cafes and takeaways are being reminded to put fire safety on the menu as Cleveland Fire Brigade staff are out and about across Cleveland to “inform and warn” about the standards required.

They will be offered free help and advice and given a check list to ensure they have the right ingredients to protect their premises from fire.

The scheme runs during Business Week (Sept 10 to Sept 17) and is a chance to comply with the legislation – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005 – prior to Fire Safety Audits being carried out later in the year.

Alan Brown, Legislative Enforcement Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “If you run a food business you are responsible for fire safety. This includes reducing the risk of a fire by identifying hazards, maintaining equipment, training staff, reviewing procedures and having a safe escape route.

“There are additional requirements where there is living accommodation above business premises. Our staff will be on hand to give advice and ensure everyone has fire safety as a top priority. Prevention is better than prosecution.”

The top three causes of fires in restaurants and takeaways are kitchen appliances, dirty ducting and electrical faults. Food businesses failing to comply with regulations face unlimited fines, imprisonment or prohibit the use of the premises.

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Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Firefighters fitted with body cameras

Cleveland firefighters are to be fitted with body cameras in a pilot scheme to stem the rising number of violent attacks.

Latest figures show a 60% increase in incidents with more than 100 reported in the last three years.

On several occasions crews under attack, fearing for their own safety, have been forced to withdraw from tackling a fire.

Assorted missiles and weapons directed at firefighters include knives, metal bars, stones, laser pens, large planks of wood, beer cans and catapults firing bolts and ball bearings.

Damage to appliances has resulted in smashed windscreens, broken mirrors, scratched paintwork and there have been reports of attempted theft of equipment as well as people deliberately twisting or standing on hose reels to stop the flow of water.

Crews have been surrounded by gangs of youths wearing balaclavas, individuals jumping on appliances and aggressive verbal abuse.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Such behaviour beggars belief and is wholly irresponsible. Our firefighters do a fantastic job in protecting the local community and saving lives. The fact that their job is made even more difficult by the thoughtless actions of a minority is hard to believe and will not be tolerated. Such violence puts them at risk of injury or even worse and can also stop them from attending an emergency where lives may be at risk.

“Our appliances are already equipped with CCTV cameras and this latest step will add to our resources in providing the police with evidence of criminal behaviour and appropriate action will be taken. Cleveland Fire Brigade has zero tolerance for such behaviour.”

From April 2015 to the end of March 2016 there were 28 reported violent attacks on crews. For the same period from April last year to March 2018 there were 45 such incidents – an increase of just over 60% over three years. There were 31 incidents in 2016/17.

Superintendent Dave Sutherland, Cleveland Police, said: “It is inconceivable that the very people who put their lives on the line to protect people and save others’ lives are subjected to such violence and abuse by a minority of people.

“Introducing body cameras will be a good way of gathering evidence and it could potentially assist with putting people before the courts wherever appropriate and securing convictions. We will work with our colleagues in the fire service to identify anyone responsible for targeting firefighters and deal with them appropriately.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Top performing fire brigade

Latest Cleveland Fire Brigade figures show house fires continuing to drop and the number of call-outs also going down.

From April to June 2018 there were 2,242 incidents, a 22% decrease from the same period last year and 30 accidental dwelling fires, down some 35%.

The figures also show nearly 4500 Home Fire Safety Visits where firefighters checked and fitted smoke alarms and gave further advice to keep people safe in their homes. The figure includes nearly 1000 Safe and Well Visits where the Brigade joins forces with health partners to signpost where additional help may be needed.

Nearly 200 people were referred to other agencies and if needed were given added equipment to prevent hazards in the home.

The agencies range from dementia support organisations and befriending services, to stop smoking and alcohol advice.

Steve Johnson, Area Manager, Protection and Prevention, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “These figures are hugely positive as they demonstrate our fire prevention work is paying dividends and Cleveland continues to be one of the safest places to live in the country.

“We are committed to driving down the number of incidents down even further and look forward to the continued support of everyone in the Cleveland community as well as our partner organisations.”

There were no fire fatalities and injuries fell by 40% to three. The first fire appliance gets to building fires on average in 4 mins 43 seconds and the second to an incident in 6 mins 44 seconds – both well within targets.

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Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Tenth anniversary for fire station open day

Coulby Newham Fire Station opens its doors to the public for the tenth year on Sunday 12 August, with an action packed programme of fun for all the family.

The Open Day at the station on Bickley Way runs between 12 noon and 4pm.

Visitors will be able to sit in a fire engine, have a go with hose reel, take safety tips from a chip pan fire demonstration, as well as go on a climbing wall. Other activities include a raffle, tombola and barbecue and the adjoining Cleveland Police station is putting on a display of police vehicles.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary there will be the chance to “dunk a firefighter” with a fun for all dunking stool.

Watch Manager Darran Farndale said, “To celebrate out tenth anniversary we have even more events than usual and the day is great opportunity for all the family to find out a little more about the work of firefighters, how they can protect themselves against the risk of fire – and also have lots of fun. There’s a variety of activities for people of all ages.

We have had great support over the years and we looking forward to another successful day. The open day is a great opportunity for the community to find out more about the work of firefighters and learn how they can protect themselves against the risk of fire.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit which involves firefighters visiting people in their homes and fitting free smoke alarms where necessary.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Completion of Audit of Accounts

Notice is hereby given that the Audit of the Fire Authority’s Accounts for the year ending 31st March, 2018 has been concluded.

Any Local Government Elector for the Boroughs of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland are entitled to inspect and make copies of the Statement of Accounts and the Auditor’s Report thereon at the Civic Centre, Victoria Road, Hartlepool on weekdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon and 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and further may require copies thereof on payment of a reasonable fee. The Statement of Accounts is available on the following link:

Dated this 31st July 2018

Mr C Little, Treasurer of Cleveland Fire Authority, c/o Hartlepool Borough Council, Civic Centre, Victoria Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY.

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Cleveland Fire Brigade signs Armed Forces Covenant

Cleveland Fire Brigade is signing the Armed Forces Covenant at an official ceremony on Thursday July 26 (10.30am) in a pledge to support the Brigade’s employees who are members of the Armed Forces community.

The Covenant will be signed by Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade with Colonel Andy Hadfield and Lieutenant Colonel Chris Green from the 4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East, based at Catterick arrison as fire appliances and army vehicles line-up side by side.

CFO Ian Hayton said: “We are honoured to sign-up to the Covenant. Cleveland has strong regional links with the Armed Forces and we have a proud history of employing members of the armed forces and those who continue to do so as reservists. They bring with them a range of transferable skills through their military training, such as leadership, excellent communications and technical application and help strengthen our role in keeping the Cleveland community safe

“The Covenant confirms our commitment to honour the Armed Forces and support the Armed Forces community and their families”.

Organisations signing the Covenant also become eligible for participation in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme which recognises and rewards UK employers for their support to Defence personnel.

The MOD’s Regional Employer Engagement Director for the North of England, Darren Rhodes said: “The Armed Forces community can contribute real value to a business as employees bringing a wealth of skills and experience. The Armed Forces Covenant encourages the Armed Forces community to nurture a two way relationship, it is important to Defence to foster an open, honest relationship with employers and we ensure the needs for the company are considered alongside those of Defence and the Armed Forces community. We are pleased to welcome Cleveland Fire Brigade as signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant as their strong community links and contribution to public service demonstrate many values in common with the UK’s Defence personnel.”

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Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Take care in the kitchen

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging people to take extra care in the kitchen after being called out to 17 fires since the start of April.

The most common causes include chip pans, leaving cooking unattended, excess oil or fat, tea towels or drying clothes too close to cooker and electrical faults.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “The kitchen is the most dangerous place in the house as there are a lot of extra hazards and people just need to be very careful. Something as simple as turning away from the cooker to answer the phone, watch television or look after the children can be distractions that lead to disaster.

“You have to be extra vigilant when cooking. Never leave it unattended, make sure the surfaces are clean and do not use a chip pan. Kitchens can also be a popular room for leaving washing to dry and this can lead to radiated heat starting a fire.

“We do not want your kitchen to be the next one to be damaged in this way.”

Latest figures show there have been five kitchen fires a month in May, June and to date in July, adding to the two reported in April.

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Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Saddleworth Moor Incident

CFB appliances setting off for Saddleworth Moors

At 1930hrs on Sunday 1st July, Cleveland Fire Brigade were contacted and asked to support the National Resilience efforts and colleagues at Greater Manchester and Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service at the ongoing incident on Saddleworth Moor.

Nine firefighters from Cleveland Fire Brigade and two Fire Appliances are on their way to support the ongoing firefighting efforts.

Cleveland’s Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said that “Wildfires present dangerous circumstances for firefighters particularly from changes in weather. We would like to wish the firefighters who are attending this major Incident ‘well’ and will be working with Greater Manchester and Lancashire Fire & Rescue over the next few days to establish any further support through rotating those who have been deployed”.

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Fire safety set as World Cup goal

Fire safety is the main fixture for the World Cup as Cleveland Fire Brigade kicks off the tournament with key safety messages on thousands of beer mats and posters.

The aim is to make sure the firefighters’ uniform is the one kit people don’t see during the tournament.

With football fans expected to watch the games at home, in pubs, clubs or BBQ parties , the Brigade has set the ball rolling on the key ways to avoid the own goal of a damaging fire.

The beer mats and posters warning of the dangers of drinking and cooking and to take extra care with BBQ”s, have spread across Cleveland to pubs and clubs, takeaways, bookmakers and public buildings.

Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said: “The World Cup is a great chance for people to get together to watch the games in safety. All we are asking is just be careful and make sure a fire is not an added and unwanted fixture.

“Don’t drink and cook – it’s a recipe for disaster. If you want a snack after a night out make something cold from the fridge or get a takeaway. That way you’re not tempted to turn the cooker on when you get home.”

“If you are having a BBQ just make sure it is well supervised as fire can spread very quickly from the garden to inside the home.

“Our beer mats and posters are a simple and quick reminder of what you need to do to stay safe and enjoy the football. The only kit we want people to see in the World Cup is those of the teams taking part and not those worn by our firefighters”.

Last year (2017) 15% of all accidental house fires in Cleveland were as a result of cooking and 33% of all injuries sustained at an accidental house fire were also cooking related. One incident resulted in a fatality.

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PIC CAPTION ; Kicking-off World Cup safety, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton (centre) with Firefighters from Stranton Red Watch.

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Eston Hills Action Group

The Eston Hills Action Group is being given a first-hand look at how Cleveland Fire Brigade tackles deliberate fires in the area.

Members have been invited to go on-board the Brigade’s special off-road appliance (UNIMOG) to see what work is being done to combat arson attacks.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, there were 53 deliberate fires on Eston Hills. Although there has been a slight reduction for April and May 2018, to date, the Cleveland Fire Brigade has still attended 13 fires in these two months which were caused deliberately.

The Eston Hills Action Group, which was formed following a public meeting called by MP Anna Turley, is chaired by Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland. It includes representatives from Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police, local authorities, Friends of Eston Hills, archaeology groups and, Redcar MP Anna Turley.

Multi-agency prevention measures in recent months include:

  • New barriers and gates across paths to prevent vehicular access
  • Installation of concrete blocks
  • Educational visits to local schools and youth clubs
  • Clampdown on illegal off roading
  • Removal of burnt out vehicles
  • Roadside trenches to prevent access

Simon Weastell, Head of Emergency Response for Cleveland Fire Brigade, said “Deliberate fires on the Eston Hills are wholly irresponsible and apart from causing immense environmental damage, they also divert resources away from emergencies where lives may be at risk.

“This site visit for the Eston Hills Action Group will be a graphic illustration of the problem we face and how they are tackled. It will also showcase measures that have been taken in recent months to prevent further fires.”

Cleveland Fire Brigade’s UNIMOG, stationed at Grangetown Community Fire Station is an off-road appliance that can provide a rapid and effective response to fires on the hills and reach areas of difficult terrain, which ordinarily cannot be reached with a normal fire appliance. Its capabilities include ,a water storage tank, hose reels and other firefighting equipment and it is staffed by a crew of four firefighters..

PCC Barry Coppinger said: “The Eston Hills Action Group was established to develop multi-agency solutions to problems which have plagued residents and landowners on the Hills for years.

“This visit is a good opportunity for the group to see the extent of the improvements to the area, which have already started to have an impact on the number of crimes and fires reported on the Hills.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade