Fire risk training

Community Support Officers watch a chip pan fire demonstration

The risk of fire to people living in the Telford area was graphically revealed to a new intake of police Community Support Officers at a training session held at Telford Fire Station.

The men and women who back up local police officers and help promote safer communities were shown the very real dangers posed to people from fire.

They learned about the most common causes of house fires and how to avoid them by taking basic safety steps including keeping matches away from children, putting out cigarettes, taking care when cooking and checking electric wiring.

Smoke alarms were a necessity in every household to alert the householder in case of fire. Homes without smoke alarms suffered the consequences of fire, they heard.

Everyone should also make an escape plan to get out of the house if fire breaks out, fire officers told the 24 CSO's at the half day event.

Firefighter Charlie Cartwright demonstrated how quickly a chip pan set alight and vividly revealed the catastrophic consequences of wrongly using water to put out such a blaze with the pan instantly turning into a fireball.

The aim of the event was to brief CSO'S on their role in helping promote safer communities and highlight the risks posed to the community from fire.

Arson and the role of CSO's in helping to protect local communities was discussed by Tamara Hackett, of the Community Fire Safety Department, who revealed the proactive measures taken by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to educate people, particularly youngsters, about fire prevention.

"We covered important issues on how to reduce the risk of arson for businesses, householders and the community and the importance of good security. Abandoned vehicles should be reported so that they can be removed quickly, people should not leave combustible items close to properties. People must be vigilant," she said.

Assistant Divisional Fire Officer John Das-Gupta, who is in charge of Community Fire Safety, talked about the importance of partnership working to promote safer communities.

After the demonstration the CSO's had the opportunity to see the new Outreach vehicle which is being used to take fire safety to Shropshire's rural villages and is used in displays across the county.

16th November, 2007