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Fire chiefs issue safety warning after ‘deep-seated’ Formby woods blaze is narrowly averted due to 'quick-thinking' of passer-by

Fire chiefs issue safety warning after ‘deep-seated’ Formby woods blaze is narrowly averted due to 'quick-thinking' of passer-by

by Danielle Thompson (April 2020)

FIREFIGHTERS were called out to Formby Pinewoods to deal with a blaze caused by an abandoned barbecue.

Just days after they issued a warning about fires in the woods after a huge fire that took five hours to put out in the dunes at Southport, they were called to the woods in Formby on April 24m, when crews used beaters and pac-liders to extinguisher the ‘deep seated fire.’

A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: “If it wasn't for the quick-thinking and actions of a passer-by who spotted the fire and quickly dialled 999, there was a potential for this fire to have escalated into a serious one.

“Barbecues are simply not allowed in Formby Pinewoods and it is completely irresponsible to have left one burning.

“We would urge the public to help us to prevent fires like these by:

- Taking your litter home

- Making sure cigarettes are properly extinguished and disposed of responsibly

- Don't set fires in open countryside

- f you see a fire, dial 999 immediately and ask for the Fire Service.

We would like to thank the National Trust Rangers who assisted during this incident.”

Meanwhile, the force have been reassuring the community that they will continue to respond to emergencies throughout the current pandemic.
Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “These are difficult times particularly for those working on the health frontline but it’s important that the public to know that we are doing everything we can to keep you safe. “We have robust business continuity plans in place which are tested regularly to make sure they work so there will always be enough firefighters and fire engines to respond to 999 calls. Like all emergency services, we plan and exercise for all scenarios regularly, including flu pandemics, so we know what to do in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
“On the basis of those plans, we have taken the decision to reduce some of our prevention activity where the risk of fire is low. We will also be avoiding visiting hospitals and care homes – except in cases of high risk or emergency – as we do not wish to put the particularly vulnerable at risk. Be assured we will continue to work with our partners to keep everyone in Merseyside safe.
“Many members of our community will now be spending more time at home than usual, with some of us forced to self-isolate. MFRS understands how stressful this can be and that’s why we want to make sure people stay as safe as possible. We will be posting advice on our social media feeds about keeping yourself safe from fire – please take notice and always remember, if there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.”
They released the following tips to stay safe from fire:
- Smoke alarms – smoke alarms save lives but only if they’re working and in the right place. You should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Consider installing additional alarms in rooms with electrical appliances or sleeping areas. Don't put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam could set them off accidentally. NEVER take the batteries out of your smoke alarm to put into another electrical device.
- Heaters – keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials. NEVER use heaters to dry clothes. ALWAYS switch off and unplug your heaters before going to bed.
- Smoking – if you smoke, use a proper ashtray and make sure it is placed on a level surface away from combustible materials. Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished. Don’t smoke in bed – you could easily fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and cause a fire.
- Candles – keep candles and tea lights away from anything that can catch fire. NEVER leave lit candles unattended – make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed. Consider using LED battery-operated candles instead.
- Cooking – make it a priority to keep cooking areas clear & clean from combustible materials. Make sure your oven and grill are clean – a build-up of fat or grease can cause a fire. DON’T leave pans unattended while cooking and NEVER leave children or pets unattended in the kitchen.

- Escape routes – make sure everyone in your household knows how to get out in the event of a fire. Ensure your escape routes are clear from any clutter. Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place. IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY. In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

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