AS FREEZING temperatures continue to plummet firefighters urge residents to ‘stay warm and safe this winter’.
But with extra heat sources brings a greater risk of life-threatening house fires, say West Sussex Fire and Rescue.
Jackie Boyle, community risk reduction officer, warns: “With the onset of the extreme cold, many of us are spending more time indoors keeping as warm as possible.
“Understandably, some people may be turning to extra heat sources like electric blankets and portable heaters to keep out the winter chill, but these bring with them an increased risk of fire in your home.
“We recommend people take a few simple precautions to ensure they stay safe as well as warm during this cold snap.
“Older residents can be particularly vulnerable in cold weather, so it’s especially important for friends, relatives and neighbours to keep an eye out for them.”
Firefighters are also reminding people of the dangers that lurk on frozen lakes, ponds and streams.
“We know areas of frozen water can be inviting, especially for children,” said Jackie, “but while it may look safe, there is no way of knowing how thick the ice is or whether it will hold your weight, so it’s best to simply stay clear of it.
“It’s really important for parents to explain to their children the dangers of playing or skating on frozen water.
“For dog owners the safest option is to keep your dogs on a lead so they can’t run out onto the ice. If you do see an animal in difficulty, don’t attempt to rescue it yourself - if the ice is too thin to support a dog’s weight, it certainly won’t support yours - so call 999 and let us deal with it.”