Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service (GMFRS) is urging people to make sure they are keeping themselves and their families safe at home following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Staying safe at home

With many people now working from home and schools closed to most children, it is even more important than ever that households are taking the right steps to ensure they are safe from fire.

Everyone can do their part by taking small simple steps such as ensuring your smoke alarm is working and never leaving cooking unattended.

GMFRS is urging people to:

  • fit a smoke alarm on each level of your house and test the batteries regularly
  • take extra care when cooking – never leave cooking unattended or leave children alone in the kitchen when the hob or oven is on. Never cook while under the influence of alcohol
  • plan a route to escape your home if there is a fire and make sure everyone in the house knows the plan
  • check for fire hazards, such as electrical items or hobs left switched on, in your home before you go to bed
  • don’t overload plug sockets – keep to one plug per socket and also look out for plugs and cables that are poorly wired, as they can be dangerous
  • always stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Don’t smoke in bed or anywhere you could fall asleep
  • make sure candles are secured in a stable holder and kept away from curtains, fabrics and paper. Always put candles out before going to bed or leaving the room
  • Never try and tackle the fire yourself. Get out, stay out and call 999

GMFRS’ Head of Prevention, Area Manager Paul Fearnhead, said: “We know more and more people are now spending extended periods in their homes, whether that is to work, to take care of children or to take part in social distancing.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do as we all try and do our bit in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and follow the advice to stay at home. However, this brings with it a number of risks when it comes to fire safety and we are asking everyone to also do their bit to ensure people are safe in the home.

“While we are all spending more time in the house there is no excuse to not have working smoke alarms and to not be testing them regularly. Also take extra care in the kitchen, especially if you have young children around and if you are enjoying a drink, consider getting a takeaway delivered instead of making something yourself.

“Scaling back from non-emergency activities will not only help to protect the public and our staff from the threat of COVID-19 it will ensure that we have enough firefighters and fire engines to be able to provide an effective emergency response across Greater Manchester.” 

More information about fire safety at home