Monday, 30 December 2013

Help us see in 2014 safely as the FBU prepares to strike again

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging party goers to take extra care as members of the Fire Brigades Union prepare to strike on New Year’s Eve.

FBU members will walk out between 18.30pm on New Year's Eve and 00.30am on New Year’s Day in their continuing national dispute with the Government over pensions. A further strike will take place between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday 3rd January.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “While emergency cover will again be provided firefighters and officers who are not members of the FBU, we are preparing for a busy night. We need help from members of the public to make sure that crews are not called out unnecessarily and are free to respond to real emergencies. Priority will be given to incidents where lives may be at risk.

“The timing of the strike has given us an additional challenge, but we are ready to respond. If you have a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.”

How you can help

If you are going out - make a clear choice between drinking or driving and plan how you are going to get home. If you are planning a big night out, remember that you can still be over the limit on the morning after so don't assume you are safe to drive. It’s a good idea to avoid cooking after you get home from the pub or club as more than half of accidental house fires start in the kitchen. A takeaway or cold snack is your safest option.

If you are celebrating at home - make sure that you take extra care in the kitchen and don't get distracted by your guests. Remember to switch off Christmas lights and snuff out candles before you go to bed. Cigarettes and cigars should be stubbed out and disposed of carefully. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your house and make sure that you and your guests know how to get out safely in an emergency. Please don't take any additional risks, such as having fireworks displays or lighting open fires when you haven't had you chimney checked recently.

Further advice on staying safe during the industrial action is available on our website.

Weather

The recent storms have highlighted how destructive wind and rain can be. If you have any outside decorations at your home or business, please ensure they are secure or consider removing them. If water levels are already high in your area and you may be at risk of flooding, think about buying sandbags, move valuables or items of sentimental importance from the ground floor of your home and work out a plan of action if you do need to leave your home in a hurry.

The Get Ready for Winter website has regular updates and plenty of advice.

There are a number of organisations which can be contacted if you have a problem which does not require an emergency response. Many of these are also on Facebook and Twitter or have apps you can download to make it easier to keep up to date while on the move.

Useful contacts

Sussex Police
Travel updates
Dial 101 when it is less urgent than 999

Sussex Police began their drink-drive crackdown at the start of December and have already charged more than fifty people. You can text officers on 65999 with the details of people you suspect of drink or drug driving, along with their car make and registration number. To report anyone driving antisocially visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.  If you know someone is driving after drinking or taking drugs call 999.

Environment Agency
For flood alerts or call Floodline number 0845 988 1188 (24 hour service)

Highways Agency
Travel updates

East Sussex County Council
Contact details

For problems on the roads: please ring the Highways Contact Centre on 0345 60 80 193 and leave a message or email highways@eastsussex.gov.uk
For out-of-hours emergencies affecting the roads in East Sussex, other than traffic accidents, please call our emergency out of hours service on 01323 644422.

Brighton and Hove City Council
Contact details

To report fallen trees or debris on roads or pavements, please call 01273 292929 during office hours. For environmental emergencies out of office hours, call 01273 292229.

Local Borough or District Councils
District and borough council websites
 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Caution urged by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service as clean up begins after flooding

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging anyone affected by the recent flooding to be cautious when clearing up - particularly where electricity is concerned.

There have been a number of incidents in the last two days where firefighters have been called to properties where flood water was affecting electrics.  We are highlighting advice from the charity the Electrical Safety Council:

Do
• make sure the property is safe before you enter
• try to avoid direct contact with any flood water which remains, as it may be contaminated
• be prepared, have a torch at hand when entering the property and do not use candles
• switch off the electricity supply at the fuse box, if it is safe to do so
• arrange for other services, such as gas, to be turned off. The electricity and gas supplies should remain off until you are sure it is safe to turn them back on
• contact your insurance company and, if applicable, your landlord, to tell them what has happened and to get advice and take instruction.

Don’t
• attempt any electrical repairs or connection of temporary supplies yourself - always use a registered electrician
• use candles to guide you when entering the property
• use any mains powered electrical appliances in the areas affected by the flood until advised that it is safe to do so
• go near any exposed wiring, as it may still be live
• start to clean up or undertake repairs until you are sure it is safe to do so

Further advice can be found at: http://www.esc.org.uk/public/guides-and-advice/

Thursday, 26 December 2013

ESFRS safety reminder as more rain is predicted

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding the public of simple safety advice as more rain is predicted for the next 48 hours.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of rain affecting the UK late today and tomorrow (26th and 27th December 2013), stating "The public should be aware of the potential for disruption, especially where ground is already saturated and high winds are combined with heavy rainfall."

On the roads

* Slow down and keep your distance from the vehicles in front of you
* Don't attempt to drive through floodwater - you don't know how deep it is or whether there are hidden obstacles
* Make sure your lights and windscreen wipers are fully working before setting out
* Check your route before you set off by going to the Sussex police website: http://www.sussex.police.uk/
* Stay alert to the danger of fallen trees - it is possible more may come down after the heavy rain softened the ground - branches and leaves can also make the roads more treacherous

In the home

* Check whether your home is at risk of flooding on the Environment Agency website: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
* Be prepared and find out what to do if you experience a flood in this leaflet from the Electrical Safety Council
* If you lose power, don't leave lit candles unattended or light fires when you haven't had chimneys properly cleaned
* Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working and in the right position in your home

Near rivers and beaches

* Don't risk your safety by going near flooded rivers - the water may be moving much faster than you think
* Stay away from waves on the seafront - you can easily get knocked off your feet
* If you have dogs, keep them on a lead if you go near rivers or the sea so they stay safe as well
* Don't walk through flood water - you don't know what's under the water line

Finally we would ask that you keep an eye on any neighbours, friends and family who you know may be alone and vulnerable at this time, especially if they live in an area particularly affected by the poor weather.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

ESFRS wishes you a merry - and safe - Christmas

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service wishes you a merry - and safe - Christmas

The Met Office has warned that further heavy showers are expected in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove during Christmas Day and into the early hours of Boxing Day.

If you are on the move today, check local travel reports before you set off. Some roads are still affected by the recent bad weather. Allow more time and adjust your driving to the conditions you face.

Check the latest on the weather on the Met Office website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/

Check the latest on the risks of flooding with the Environment Agency: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Other Christmas safety tips

Kitchen fires are easily avoided - keep an eye on your Christmas cooking and don't get distracted by the festive fun.

If you have a drink - don't drive. Make sure you know who is going to stay sober and do the honours as designated driver.

Don't leave lit candles unattended and make sure your chimney is clean and safe before lighting an open fire.

Wishing you all a safe and merry Christmas!

Latest Fire Brigades Union strike ends - seven incidents attended

The latest industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades Union has ended, with normal cover being resumed by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Crews made of non FBU members attended seven incidents during the strike which took place on Christmas Eve between 7pm and midnight. These were:
  • a wash down of the road at the the scene of a road traffic collision in Pevensey
  • a flat fire in Hastings where one person was taken to hospital
  • reports of a woman trapped on the roof of a car in fast moving water in Piltdown. The police also attended and the woman was successfully rescued.
  • a car in water at Bodium
  • a fire in open in Wadhurst
  • a fire in an electrical box in Blackboys
Additionally a crew was mobilised but then stood down after an automatic fire alarm was triggered.

This was the first of three planned strikes over Christmas and New Year in the FBU’s ongoing dispute with the Government over pensions. The next strike takes place on New Year’s Eve between 6.30pm and 12.30am.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service will continue to respond to incidents but will focus on emergencies, particularly those where lives are in danger. You should take extra care whether you are going out our celebrating at home.
  • Plan how you are going to get home well in advance and make a clear choice between drinking or driving. Remember that you could still be over the limit on the morning after.
  • Have a New Year’s Eve that you remember for the right reasons – these tips from Drinkaware could help you to have an even more enjoyable night and keep you out of trouble.
  • Take care in the kitchen as more than half of accidental house fires are started by cooking. Drinking alcohol puts you at greater risk in the kitchen, so a takeaway could be your safest option after the pub.
  • If you’re celebrating at home remember to switch off Christmas lights and snuff out candles before you go to bed and cigarettes ends should be stubbed out and disposed of carefully.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your house and know how to get out safely in an emergency.
There is a further strike by FBU members between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday 3rd January. Check our website for further safety advice.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Strike update - small number of incidents attended by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews have attended a small number of incidents since the latest Fire Brigades Union strike began at 7pm tonight (24 December).

Crews went to the scene of a road traffic collision in Pevensey and washed down the road, and a flat fire in Hastings where one person was taken to hospital. They were also called to reports of a woman trapped on the roof of a car in fast moving water in Piltdown. The police also attended and the woman was successfully rescued.

The strike continues until midnight.

A further update will be posted on our website once the industrial action ends tonight.

Lewes Crown Court among buildings suffering damage in storms



East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has been receiving a steady stream of 999 calls following bad weather. The majority are about dangerous structures after the high winds damaged buildings.

Tiles began falling from Lewes Crown Court this morning. Crews used the aerial ladder platform to reach the roof and make it safe.

Other incidents attended include:
  • crews were called to Ellenslea Road in Hastings and made a garage safe
  • crews called to the A22 at Uckfield following a road traffic collision and made the vehicle safe
  • a light portable pump was used after flooding was reported in a cellar at a property on North Common Road in Wivelsfield
Homeowners and businesses are being urged to check whether they are at risk of flooding on the Environment Agency's website or call Floodline number 0845 988 1188 (24 hour service).


 Flood advice reminder for motorists

There have been a handful of calls from motorists who have become stranded after driving through floodwater. With more rain on the way, drivers are being urged not to risk their or their passengers safety and to use their common sense:
  • slow down - it takes longer to stop when roads are wet
  • make sure your car's lights and windscreen wipers are working properly – visibility is not great in wet weather
  • check your tyre pressure before setting off 
You can find out the latest travel news on the Sussex Police website

Other useful contacts


Highways Agency
Travel updates

East Sussex County Council
Contact details

For problems on the roads: please ring the Highways Contact Centre on 0345 60 80 193 and leave a message or email highways@eastsussex.gov.uk
For out-of-hours emergencies affecting the roads in East Sussex, other than traffic accidents, please call our emergency out of hours service on 01323 644422.

Brighton and Hove City Council  
Contact details

To report fallen trees or debris on roads or pavements, please call 01273 292929 during office hours.  For environmental emergencies out of office hours, call 01273 292229.


Local Borough or District Councils

District and borough council websites




Weather woes continue in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is continuing to deal with a high number of calls relating to the bad weather. The majority have been linked to flooding or unsafe structures.

Members of the public are being reminded that there are a number of organisations which can be contacted if you have a problem which does not require an emergency response.

Useful contacts

Sussex Police
Travel updates
Dial 101 when it is less urgent than 999

Environment Agency
For flood alerts or call Floodline number 0845 988 1188 (24 hour service)

Highways Agency 
Travel updates

East Sussex County Council
Contact details

For problems on the roads: please ring the Highways Contact Centre on 0345 60 80 193 and leave a message or email highways@eastsussex.gov.uk
For out-of-hours emergencies affecting the roads in East Sussex, other than traffic accidents, please call our emergency out of hours service on 01323 644422.

Brighton and Hove City Council  
Contact details

To report fallen trees or debris on roads or pavements, please call 01273 292929 during office hours.  For environmental emergencies out of office hours, call 01273 292229.


Local Borough or District Councils

District and borough council websites

Firefighters kept busy during storms



East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take extra care after receiving around 230 weather-related calls since yesterday afternoon. Around 120 incidents were attended by crews - the majority of these were to make an area safe after the strong winds brought down trees, signs and roofs.

Incidents included:

  • 17:12: Signage removed from a shop at Lower Willingdon in Eastbourne.     
  • 17:24 Electrics isolated by crews after flooding at a home in Little Common in Bexhill.
  • 17:46: Tree fallen on to car at Keld Avenue, Uckfield leaving two people trapped inside. People released – no injuries reported.
  • 18:06: Sections of a garage canopy removed at Texaco on the South Coast Road, Peacehaven.
  • 18:20: Window of shop and door blown in at Marina Mews in Bexhill. Area made safe.
  • 19:13: Crews removed tree from across the A21 at Swanfield Farm.
  • 19:25:  Flat roof removed by crews and area made safe on Saint Leonards Avenue, Hove
  • 20:15 Large sheeting removed from building on Old Ghyll Road, Heathfield.
  • 20:41: Pipe swinging four storeys high at a building on St Johns Road in Seaford. Pipe removed by crews and area made safe.
  • 20:42 Flat roof blown off garage and flooding affecting electrics at an address in Park Avenue, Hastings. Crews removed roof and made the area safe.
  • 22:39: Air conditioning unit hanging off wall of building on Brunswick Street, Hove. Unit removed by crews.
  • 03:54: Solar panels fallen from roof on building in Dyke Road, Brighton which then caused flooding to the property. Area made safe. 
With the bad weather predicted to last for the rest of the day, ESFRS is urging people not to take risks, particularly when on the roads.

  

FBU firefighters strike on Christmas Eve

Help us to focus our resources on emergencies during the Fire Brigades Union strikes planned over Christmas and the New Year.

The first of three FBU strikes takes place today, Christmas Eve, between 7pm and midnight. We will continue to respond to emergencies during the strike, particularly those where lives are in danger, but we need members of the public to take extra care particularly given the difficult weather conditions.

Further strikes in the FBU’s ongoing dispute with the Government over pensions take place as follows:
  • New Year’s Eve 6.30 pm – 12.30 am
  • Friday 3rd Jan 6.30 am – 08.30 am
If you are traveling today, leave in plenty of time and try to complete your journey before the strike starts at 7pm. Remember that this is a national strike and FBU firefighters in other areas will be on strike too.

With the possibility of further wet and windy weather over the festive period, please take extra care on the roads and near the sea and flood water and keep an eye on Met Office weather warnings.

Whether you are spending Christmas at home, with family or friends:
  • Make sure there is a working smoke alarm on each floor of your house and that you know how to get out safely.
  • Take care with candles, never leave them unattended and snuff them out properly.
  • Take extra care in the kitchen and don’t cook after you’ve had a festive tipple - half of accidental house fires start while cooking.
  • Always switch the Christmas lights and other appliances off before going to bed.
Further advice to help you keep your loved ones safe is available on our website.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Sheep rescued in Udiam




Firefighters from Crowborough and Broad Oak have helped rescue sheep which got into trouble in Udiam.

They were called out on Sunday 22 December 2013 at 10.55am.

Two sheep were rescued from the water and another four from brambles.

Storm advice for homeowners and businesses



With weather warnings in place across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, firefighters are asking people to take precautions against flooding and during the Christmas getaway.

On the move

If you are taking to the roads in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, please be careful and follow our simple advice:

  • Drive according to the road conditions and allow extra time for your journey if necessary;
  • Remember to keep your distance from the car in front of you – it takes much longer to stop in the wet and fallen leaves can be just as slippery and treacherous for motorists as driving on ice;
  • Make sure that you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts – you are 50% more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you are not wearing one;
  • Avoid being distracted and never use your mobile phone while driving;
  • Stay alert for other road users including people walking, jogging or cycling. Watch out for children at their bus stops as many schools return from the half-term holiday on Monday;
  • Check that your lights and windscreen wipers are working properly – visibility during the winter months can be poor and there are fewer hours of daylight; 
  • Make sure that your tyres have sufficient tread and that they are inflated in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines;

Flooding advice

Floods can happen quickly so don’t wait until it is too late to think about preparation.

Before a flood:
  • Do organise some sandbags to block doors and airbricks but remember to ensure that there is adequate ventilation in your home.
  • Do find out whether your area has flooded before and if there is any specific flood advice for your area.
  • Do find out where to turn off your electricity and gas supplies in advance.
  • Don't underestimate the damage that a flood can do, check with your insurance company that you have flood cover.

When a flood starts:
  • Do put your safety first, stay alert, events can change very quickly during a flood; listen out for any warnings on the radio and the TV.
  • Do move people or pets upstairs or to higher ground, identify a place where you and your family can keep away from the floodwater.
  • Don't under any circumstances drive or walk through floodwater.
  • Remember, items that have been in contact with floodwater may be contaminated and contain sewage, therefore make sure that anything that has been in contact with the water is safely cleaned.

After the flood:
  • Do get in contact with your insurance company and let them know what has happened.
  • Do open your doors and windows to ventilate your home.

For more advice log on to our website: www.esfrs.org

Friday, 20 December 2013

Don't let a festive fire ruin your Christmas - check your chimney

If you’re planning to spend a cosy Christmas in front of a roaring fire, don’t strike a match unless you are confident that your chimney is clear, clean and well maintained.

At this time of year, it can be tempting to clear out the grate and light the first winter fire in time for Christmas or New Year guests to arrive. But you need to take care because chimneys are a common cause of house fires and can cause widespread damage.

Make sure that your chimney or flue is clean and well maintained. Don’t light a fire if you can’t remember the last time it was checked and cleaned. The frequency with which a chimney should be swept depends on the type of fuel you burn. Here is a quick guide:
  • Smokeless fuels - at least once a year
  • Bituminous coal - at least twice a year
  • Wood - quarterly when in use
If you do light a fire, always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks, don’t overfill the grate and keep an extinguisher to hand. 

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has issued the safety warning following the announcement of further industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades Union on Christmas Eve (7pm – midnight), New Year’s Eve (6.30 pm – 12.30am) and Friday 3rd January (6.30 am – 8.30 am).

Steve Wright, Community Safety Team Manager, said: “Although an open fire can provide extra warmth and a wonderful Christmas glow, we want people to be extra cautious this year and turn the central heating up a notch rather than light the fire if they can’t remember the last time they had the chimney checked and cleaned.

“Of course you need to make sure that you have a working smoke alarm on each floor in your home to give you and your family an early warning if the worst happens. If you do have a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.”

Further chimney fire safety advice is available on our website. 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

ESFRS welcomes KSS air ambulance news



East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is welcoming the news that the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance has extended its service.

KSS is now flying around the clock instead of operating between 7am and 7pm.

Crews from the charity and the fire service have in the past worked together at serious incidents including road traffic collisions in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove. Firefighters also help support KSS through fundraising initiatives. 

To find out more about KSS: www.kssairambulance.co.uk