Xmas Fire Safety Campaign Launch

A Shropshire family will be devastated this Christmas – don't let it be you is the message from community fire safety chief John Das Gupta pictured at the unveiling of a billboard at Wrekin Retail Park in Telford.

Kitchen fires "devastate" lives – that is the message going out to the Shropshire public as part of a Christmas fire safety campaign launched by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Another threat to people's lives is from car crashes – which are all avoidable, said community fire safety chief John Das Gupta.

In a hard hitting campaign, firefighters are using leaflets, posters, static displays, public events and a billboard to convince the public to take precautions.

The campaign kicks off with three events in Shrewsbury starting on Monday, December 8.

In the billboard unveiled at Wrekin Retail Park – one of the busiest shopping venues in the county – a huge poster shows a cooker overloaded with burning pans with the stark message: "A Shropshire family will be devastated this Christmas – don't let it be you."

The fire service is appealing to householders never to leave cooking unattended and to ensure their smoke alarms are working.

Kitchen fires break out due to "lack of attention" and account for nearly 60 per cent of all house fires in Shropshire, said Mr Das Gupta.

"Christmas is always a very busy and stressful time which inevitably results in an increase in the level of kitchen fires. Our message is, don't let it be you."

Road safety is also a profound message which the service wants to get over with firefighters constantly called to rescue trapped people from the wreckage of their vehicles.

"Every year throughout the county, people will die in car crashes – crashes that are avoidable. For the mother, father, sisters and brothers left behind, life and Christmas will never be the same," he said.

Firefighters working together with local authority road safety teams and the Safer Roads Partnership will be staffing displays at the entrance to three supermarkets before Christmas.

10th December, 2008