Thursday, March 21, 2019
Safety Matters

MAKE sure you put any cigarettes completely out to stop the risk of fire is the message from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters across Greater Manchester have attended 752 fires caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials since April 2014.

Crews in Manchester have been called to smoking related fires more than any other borough in the city-region, totalling 202 incidents in five years.

Bolton and Salford round out the top three with 84 and 78 incidents respectively.

The warning comes as GMFRS marks No Smoking Day (Wednesday 13 March).

The day aims to help smokers who want to quit.

In 2018/2019 firefighters have been called to 136 incidents caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials.

On Sunday 24 February, crews from Rochdale and Littleborough attended a first floor flat fire on New Road, Littleborough.

The occupier, who had been drinking, fell asleep while smoking in bed.

Firefighters used a hose reel to extinguish the fire, which involved a mattress and duvet.

Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Policing, Crime, Justice and Fire, said: “Our firefighters do an incredible job keeping everyone across Greater Manchester safe, at all times of day and night throughout the year.

“We can also help them to do this by making sure any smoking materials are put out completely after use.”

Crews from Salford, Moss Side, Manchester Central and Blackley also attended a fire at a high-rise building in Manchester where a resident had carelessly discarded a cigarette on Monday 18 February.

The cigarette fell onto a balcony on the fourth floor and caused a small fire.

The fire only caused heat damage but if left unchecked potentially could have developed and spread around the building.

Paul Etches, GMFRS’ Head of Prevention, said: “Thanks to the quick work of our firefighters thankfully neither of these incidents developed into something much more serious.

“If you smoke, please make sure you put your smoking materials completely out. Putting a small amount of water on your ashes or cigarette butts is a quick and simple way to make sure you are not at risk of a fire.

“It is much safer to not smoke, but if you do, please follow our advice and make sure you have a working smoke alarm.”

If you smoke, GMFRS advises you to:

  • Stub your smoking material out properly – put it out, put it right out
  • Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire
  • Use a proper heavy wide-bottom ashtray, never a wastepaper basket
  • Make sure your ashtray won’t tip over and is made of material that won’t burn
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Fit a minimum of one smoke alarm on every floor of your home and make sure you test it often. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999

Find more information about smoking safely by visiting the GMFRS website.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled proposals that put firefighters at the heart of the work that we do and lay the foundation for a stronger organisation, focused on keeping communities safe and delivering a sustainable, affordable, frontline-first emergency service.

Like all fire services, Greater Manchester is continuing to have make savings because of Government cuts and pressures on council tax. The package put forward rises to this challenge but without compromising frontline safety or response times.

Since 2010, central government has cut funding to GMFRS by more than £20m, 17.5% of its total budget. The grant accounts for 55% of funding for the fire service, as compared to 64% in 2010. The rest of the funding comes from precept. These proposals will ensure that the service is on the right financial footing to be able to continue to serve the people of Greater Manchester.

Firefighters sit at the heart of these proposals. They will be supported by an organisation which has a culture of trust, respect and accountability, with improved working conditions, modern facilities and better training and equipment.

Proposals include:

  • A refocus on frontline delivery
  • Integration with place-based teams in every locality, targeting resources and meeting needs of communities
  • Maximising fire cover across Greater Manchester within available resources
  • More devolved power to the frontline
  • Re-investing in local stations and improved facilities
  • Investment in fire engines and equipment
  • Improved training and development
  • Investment in supporting technology and systems

The ‘root and branch’ review of the service was announced last year following the publication of the Kerslake Report and also in response to concerns raised with the Mayor by firefighters.

As part of the process, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have visited every fire station and team to get the views of staff about the organisation. The proposals announced today respond to that feedback.

A key part of the work has been the Fire Cover Review, which has seen a range of options analysed to optimise fire cover in Greater Manchester.

This includes the following proposals:

  1. Mergers of 6 fire stations into three, establishing new state-of-the art fire stations with opportunities for collaboration with blue light partners and for facilities for the communities.  Initial consideration is being given to mergers at Bolton, Manchester and Stockport – the detail will be examined during the consultation.
  2. Crewing levels of 4 firefighters on all engines, reflecting current practice in Greater Manchester and services across the country.
  3. Removal of 8 second fire engines from stations currently with two engines.
  4. Maintenance of our position as one of the fastest responding fire services nationally, our average response times will still be more than a minute better than the national average.
  5. A new delivery model for Prevention, Protection, Youth Engagement and Administration.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who is also Greater Manchester’s Fire Commissioner said: “Despite the continued austerity we are doing everything we can in Greater Manchester to maintain the level of service that our fire service provides. As a result of these changes GMFRS will still be able to boast some of the fastest response times in the country.

“We are not doing this by making unfair demands of our firefighters. The frontline remains our focus. I have asked the new fire chief to adopt a frontline first ethos throughout the organisation and make sure our firefighters have the right training, modern equipment and facilities.”

Deputy Mayor, Baroness Beverley Hughes said; “These proposals, by reverting to the core business of rescue, prevention and protection will enable our firefighters to make an even better contribution to the safety, security and wellbeing of people in communities across Greater Manchester.

“I am grateful for the spirit in which staff from right across the organisation have been willing to engage with us and tell us what they think. Their views are at the heart of these plans and whilst the transformation will be challenging it is essential to put GMFRS on a better and sustainable footing to deliver services.”

Chief Fire Officer, Jim Wallace said: “These proposals outline some of the most progressive changes in the history of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service but they are important ones to make sure we are a service fit for the future.

“This will put us in a position where we can continue to keep people safe, but also ensure that we are a sustainable, efficient service. There will be tough decisions to make going forward but all of this will be informed by staff feedback and with the use of a robust evidence base.

“We want to use place-based working to make a real difference in preventing fires and other emergencies but also to work with partners to allow them to focus on those who require specialist assistance.

“By working with our partners we can make sure we are doing the best we can to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe.”

No final decisions have yet been made on these proposals as we are consulting with staff and trade union representatives. We will also be launching a public consultation around the plans and details will be released in due course.

You can read the full Outline Business Case here.

FIREFIGHTERS across Greater Manchester are urging people to never leave their cooking unattended to minimise the risk of fire.

The call from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service comes following an incident in Altrincham caused by unattended cooking.

Three crews from Altrincham, Sale and Stretford were called to a semi-detached house on Barlow Road, Altrincham, at 6.16pm on Wednesday, March 6.

On arrival firefighters rescued the female occupier and dealt with the food smoking in the oven.

Paul Etches, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said: “Thanks to a working smoke alarm this incident saw no injuries and thankfully did not develop into something much worse.

“It only takes seconds for a fire to start so the importance of a working smoke alarm cannot be overstated.

“Never leave your cooking unattended as the consequences may be severe.

“Make sure you test your smoke alarm. It may save your life.”

A specialist trauma technician assessed the lady who suffered no injuries.

Firefighters were on the scene for approximately 30 minutes.

 

If your pan catches fire when cooking:

  • Don’t panic and don’t take risks
  • Don’t move the pan
  • If it’s safe to do so, turn off the heat – but never lean over the pan to do so
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, get everyone out and don’t go back inside
  • Call 999

For more information on cooking safety visit the safety section of the GMFRS website: https://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/staying-safe/what-we-do/fire-safety-at-home/safety-in-the-kitchen/

FIREFIGHTERS are calling on people to keep an eye on their cooking and make sure their smoke alarms are working following two kitchen fires.

Crews from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were called to the fires in Manchester and Salford on Thursday night.

In Manchester, firefighters from Gorton and Philips Park attended an incident at 8.51pm at a terraced house on Parkin Street where the occupier had fallen asleep after putting a pan on the stove.

Due to a working smoke alarm the man woke up and called 999.

The fire was out on arrival but the man was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation by ambulance crews while firefighters ventilated his house.

In Salford, two crews from Salford were called to an incident at 11.30pm in a terraced house on Kerrera Drive where the occupier had left a grill pan unattended.

The occupier was alerted to the fire by their working smoke alarm.

A specialist trauma technician gave the occupier first aid and advice on cooking safety.

Firefighters were on scene for approximately 30 minutes and made sure the fire was out using a thermal imaging camera.

Paul Etches, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said: “These incidents highlight how important it is to keep an eye on your cooking at all times and to make sure your smoke alarm works.

“It only takes a second for a fire to start and if left unattended the consequences could be severe.

“Never leave your cooking unattended and make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home.”

If your pan catches fire when cooking:

  • Don’t panic and don’t take risks
  • Don’t move the pan
  • If it’s safe to do so, turn off the heat – but never lean over the pan to do so
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, get everyone out and don’t go back inside
  • Call 999

For more information on cooking safety visit the GMFRS websitehttps://manchesterfire.gov.uk/staying-safe/what-we-do/fire-safety-at-home/safety-in-the-kitchen/

THIS February Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging members of the public to stay safe in the kitchen in support of a national cooking campaign, headed up by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

On Friday, February 1, 2019, firefighters who work at Heywood Community Fire Station were joined by chef Adam Reid, of The French restaurant in Manchester, and ITV Presenter Vicky Grimes to cook up a healthy tea – which was Adam’s take on chicken chow mein.

Firefighters took the opportunity to remind people how to stay safe when cooking and avoid fires at home on ITV’s Friday Night Fake-Away show, part of Granada Reports, which aims to help keep people healthy by cooking instead of eating take-away food.

Head of Prevention, Paul Etches said: “Every year GMFRS receives calls to around 1,300 kitchen fires. Since April 2018 our firefighters have already dealt with more than 1,000 kitchen fires – 85 per cent of these were cooking related which equates to around 890.

“Many cooking fires start when people get distracted – whether this be general distractions around the home, or falling asleep – sometimes after taking medication or drinking alcohol.

“We want to remind people to take extra care to avoid having a fire and also of the importance of having working smoke alarms and an escape plan – which can buy you valuable time should you have a fire at home.

“Often the damage caused by kitchen fires is so severe that it results in people requiring seeking alternative accommodation.”

To help prevent the increase of kitchen fires GMFRS is encouraging people to follow its safety advice and book a FREE Safe and Well Visit, which may include the fitting of smoke alarms, by calling 0800 555 815.

Safety tips to follow to keep you and your family safe at home:

 

·         Never cook after drinking

·         Always stand by your pan – don’t leave your cooking unattended

·         Keep your oven, hob and grill clean – fat and grease can easily catch fire

·         Don’t put metal objects, like tin cans, in the microwave

·         Keep toasters clean and away from curtains and kitchen rolls

If your kitchen does catch fire:

  • Don’t panic and don’t take risks
  • If it’s safe to do so, turn off the heat but don’t lean over the pan
  • Never use water or a water extinguisher on a hot fat fire
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door, tell everyone else to get out and don’t go back in
  • Call 999

THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester has welcomed official figures showing the total number of people sleeping rough has fallen substantially for the first time in eight years in the city-region.

Andy Burnham, who has pledged to end the need for rough sleeping by 2020, said: “Tackling rough sleeping in Greater Manchester remains a huge challenge – our approach can always improve but I am confident that for the first time in a long time real progress is being made. We are helping people turn their lives around and in many cases saving them.”

Official government figures published today (Thursday 31 January) show that on the night of the national rough sleeper count last November all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs’ figures combined showed 241 people sleeping outdoors, a reduction of 37 over the last 12 months. In eight of the boroughs numbers have either stabilised or fallen.

Since the start of November the Mayor’s A Bed Every Night campaign has helped 1,236 people into safe, warm and supported accommodation. It is the basis of a commitment to provide a bed for every rough sleeper in Greater Manchester who wants and needs one every night of this winter regardless of weather or temperatures.

Andy said: “These figures from Government demonstrate that in Greater Manchester the tide is turning. This winter, through A Bed Every Night, we are the only city-region in the UK working to provide beds across all our boroughs to meet demand for accommodation and support. We think that since the official count the number of people on our streets has dropped still further.

“The fact that more than 200 people are still sleeping rough in our city-region in this day and age is completely unacceptable and there is still much work to do. This is a humanitarian crisis, not of our own making, and there is no easy solution.

“A Bed Every Night is both morally and economically the right thing to do. Research by Crisis shows someone sleeping rough costs the taxpayer £20,000 over the course of a year – someone being helped by our programmes costs roughly half that.

“We are leading the way on this issue in Greater Manchester – in contrast to many other cities’ and city-regions’ figures our numbers have declined over the past 12 months, the first time that has happened here since 2010. I call on Government to recognise the success of our strategy and adopt it as the nationwide approach to tackling rough sleeping.”

The national rough sleeper count takes place every year on one night in November, with local authorities up and down the country submitting data to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Figures are independently verified and the MHCLG subsequently publishes nationwide data early the following year.

These figures give the best indication of the numbers of rough sleepers on our streets, but it is generally accepted that the actual number is likely to be higher. However, these figures provide solid evidence of a reduction, which is backed up by what we are seeing on the streets.

For example, the latest figures, relating to the early morning of Friday 16 November, demonstrate that the number of people sleeping rough in Salford decreased, with 26 individuals counted compared to 49 the previous year. On the same night, roughly 40 people were inside A Bed Every Night accommodation in the borough as the scheme, which launched at the start of November, started to make an impact on the streets.

City Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, also leads on Housing, Planning and Homelessness for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). He said: “We’ve been working hard to reduce rough sleeping in Salford but it would not be possible without the support provided through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the numerous local charities, churches, volunteers, partner organisations and help from the people of Greater Manchester. You are seriously all invaluable.

“We’ve had approximately 40 people in A Bed Every Night accommodation and with other support this has reduced our annual rough sleeping figure from 49 to 26.

“Rough sleeping and homelessness is symptomatic of a failing system; shocking government cuts have decimated local authority services. Welfare reform, especially the roll-out of Universal Credit, the bedroom tax, benefits being frozen since 2015, sanctions and welfare conditionality have all contributed to the significant exacerbation of inequality and poverty across Greater Manchester.

“In addition to this the chronic under-supply of truly affordable housing (council housing) over the last two decades and lack of properties replaced that have been sold under Right to Buy has created a housing crisis, which has fuelled homelessness and rough sleeping across Britain.

“The latest national rough sleeper count figures for Greater Manchester show that we’re making some progress but there is still so much more to do to fix the broken system in 21st century Britain.”

In Manchester the number of people counted as sleeping rough in November increased to 123 individuals. Cllr Sue Murphy leads on homelessness for the City Council, and said: “There is a greater awareness and visibility of rough sleeping in Manchester so we are not surprised that the official figure has gone up since last year as this tallies with our own ongoing data which shows that more people are on the streets than ever before.

“The headcount figure is a snapshot on one night only. However, we know that the figure for rough sleeping rarely remains static and our own most recent figure in January tells us that 65 people were on the streets which shows that more people are taking up the offers of temporary accommodation and support available to them.

“This data provides us with regular, reliable and up-to-date information to enable us to plan and respond to that need accordingly.

“We know this is a challenging situation but are working tirelessly to address these complex issues which lead to people sleeping rough in the first place. We have outreach teams as well as those from partner organisations on the streets, offering accommodation, help and support, and we are striving to strengthen this support offer all the time to help people stay off the streets, rebuild their lives and reduce homelessness.”

A Bed Every Night, supported by local authorities and supplemented by generous donations from Greater Manchester’s businesses and members of the public, is the first step off the street for many of the city-region’s homeless and is currently funded to run to the end of March.

Operating alongside the scheme is the existing Social Impact Bond (SIB) which has thus far secured independent living spaces for 223 of the city-region’s previously most entrenched rough sleepers.

Next month Greater Manchester’s work to end rough sleeping will go even further with the launch of a ground-breaking Housing First pilot, backed by £7.6 million of Government funding. Its aim is to provide additional support to a further 400 people over the next three years by establishing accommodation for people facing multiple needs and exclusion, including homeless people.

 

Rough sleeping figures per borough, 2010-18:

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

 

2017 2018 Change
Bolton 2 1 1 1 4 8 8 17 21 950%
Bury 3 9 3 10 0 9 3 10 3 0%
Manchester 7 15 27 24 43 70 78 94 123 1657%
Oldham 1 0 1 2 0 2 3 2 2 100%
Rochdale 5 5 8 6 17 2 12 8 3 -40%
Salford 4 11 10 7 14 16 26 49 26 550%
Stockport 1 0 4 3 7 9 10 10 7 500%
Tameside 9 7 0 2 7 14 19 43 36 300%
Trafford 3 1 2 2 2 1 2 5 3 0%
Wigan 6 11 15 13 7 3 28 30 17 183%
GM Total 41 60 71 70 101 134 189 268 241 487%

STAND together against hatred and prejudice – that’s the call to Greater Manchester people ahead of Hate Crime Awareness Week.

This year people from across Greater Manchester have shown their support to end hate crime by featuring in a video, reciting the Hate Crime pledge.

Shared across social media throughout the week the video calls on people from across the city-region to sign up to the promise at letsendhatecrime.com/promise . The promise reads:

Let’s End Hate Crime – the Greater Manchester Promise

I’m proud that Greater Manchester is a place where everyone is free to be themselves:  where no one should face violence, abuse or hatred just because of who they are, who they love, where they’re from, what they look like or what they believe.

If I see someone abused like this I won’t stand by. I’ll take a stand and: support them, challenge their abuser, if it’s safe; and report it.

I make this promise to stand up for a Greater Manchester where we all look out for each other, we all stick up for each other, and we all stand together.

By signing up to the Promise, people are able to come together and show hate crime will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester and that we’re united against it.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Bev Hughes said: “The people of Greater Manchester have shown the world how we stand together in solidarity against those who would seek to divide us, and in support of those who face violence or abuse because of who they are.

“Now that spirit is more important than ever. As communities across the country become fractured by Brexit, we must stand together as one, and show hate won’t be tolerated in our region.”

Chief Superintendent, Paul Savill, GMP’s Head of Local Policing and Criminal Justice said: “Hate crime destroys lives and divides communities and has no place in Greater Manchester.

“This week of awareness is a powerful example of what can be achieved when we stand together against hatred and discrimination and celebrate the proud diverse region that we live in.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their community and we all have a responsibility to make the changes we want to see.

“If you see it happen, report it. If it is safe to do so, challenge it. This behaviour will not be accepted.”

Councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It fills me with pride to know that Manchester is a city which embraces people of all walks of life, no matter their religion, skin colour, where they are form or who they wish to love.

“The strength of Manchester has always stemmed from its people and I have faith they will get behind our message of support, challenge and report, and rid our city of the scourge of hate crime.” Hi Ross

Throughout the week there will be a dozens of activities and events across Greater Manchester to encourage people to learn more about hate crime and how to tackle it. A selection of some of the events taking place include theatre productions in Rochdale, ‘travelling’ to understand different cultures in Chorlton and celebrating the cultural diversity within the borough of Bury.

The awareness week will be launched on Monday, February 4 at the St. Thomas Centre in Ardwick, where the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime will set out the aims of the week – to promote diversity and community cohesion across Greater Manchester.

Hate crimes are acts of hostility, such as violence or verbal abuse, directed at someone because of who they are. It’s things like someone being spat at because they are black, or being called names because they are a Muslim and wear a headscarf, or being beaten up for being gay.

Reporting hate crime is easy – you can do it online at http://www.report-it.org.uk/home, call the police on 101 or, if you don’t want to speak to police, report it at one of dozens of independent reporting centres across Greater Manchester.

Local policing is to be bolstered by more than 300 additional police officers as part of plans to tackle increasing and complex crime across Greater Manchester in the face of Government cuts.

Proposals to increase the policing element of the council tax have been backed by the Police and Crime Panel [today/this week], and follows a public consultation, where 59% of people who had their say backed the increase of £24 per year for a Band D household.

Speaking at the Panel meeting, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes made it clear that the additional £18m raised through the council tax increase will be invested in improving the local police service.

That means that in the coming year we will:

  • Recruit 320 additional police officers to strengthen neighbourhood teams and policing of the transport network.
  • Continue to improve the 101 non-emergency service
  • Increase the grants to local authorities to fund community safety initiatives
  • Invest in new approaches to tackle serious violent crime and violence against women and girls.

Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes said: “I want to thank Panel members for supporting this proposal, and also to the communities of Greater Manchester for backing their local police service. I also want to be clear that this has been a difficult decision to make. However, in light of the Government’s continued failure to fund Greater Manchester Police fairly, we have been left with very little choice to ask residents to pay a little more to ensure we can keep our communities safe.”

Cllr Tamoor Tariq, Chair of the Police and Crime Panel said: “Our police officers continue to go above and beyond every day to keep us safe, as resources have shrunk and crime has gone up. Yet the Home Secretary has failed to follow through on promises to back our police. Despite repeated calls from myself as Chair of the Panel we have had nothing more than warm words with very little action.

“The Panel and I have supported the council tax proposals put forward by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, but we do so with heavy hearts and a renewed plea to Government to fairly fund our police without local taxpayers bearing the brunt.”

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “I am pleased that we will have able to move some way towards the 7,000 officers I believe we need to police Greater Manchester. I am grateful for the support we have had from local people who are being asked to pay more for policing. The additional officers will be a welcome boost and provide a proactive policing team working across Greater Manchester and support neighbourhood policing.”

Around 80% of GMP’s budget comes a central government grant, but this funding has been cut by £250m since 2010, resulting in the loss of 2,000 police officers and 1,000 police staff. This is against a backdrop of increasing crime and complex demand such as cybercrime, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. In December, the Government badged a £15m increase in the police grant as investment in local policing, when it reality it will merely cover the police pension shortfall.

Bev Hughes added: “Time and time again the Government has shamefully passed the financial burden of local policing onto local taxpayers, at a time when threat levels are severe and crime continues to rise. Whilst our plans to strengthen officer numbers is good news, we are still a long way off mitigating the cuts – and damage – caused by this Government’s disregard for public safety.”

The increase of £24 will take the annual bill for policing for a band D home from £174.30 to £198.30.

Band B is the average Council Tax Band in Greater Manchester. For these properties the police precept would be £154.24 per annum, which is the equivalent of £2.97 per week – an increase of 36p per week.

The Mayor is responsible for setting the budget for policing, the fire service and other mayoral functions, which local people contribute to through a part of their council tax bills called the mayoral “precept”.

You can read more information about the proposed precept for the fire service and mayoral functions here. These plans will go to a special meeting of Greater Manchester Combined Authority on 15 February.

 

 
Greater Manchester residents are being encouraged to take simple steps to stay safe in their homes as work continues to ensure the safety of high rise blocks across the city-region.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is encouraging people to remember to take simple fire prevention steps to help keep themselves safe and make sure they know what to do if there is a fire in their flat or in their block.This includes testing smoke alarms once a week, keeping doorways, hallways and communal areas free from clutter and reporting any obstructions, taking care when cooking and smoking, and making sure electrical appliance are turned off when not in use and not overloading plug sockets and extension leads.Tony Hunter, Assistant Chief Fire Office and Director of Prevention and Protection, said: “Living in a high-rise block doesn’t mean you are at any more risk from fire in your home, but it does mean that you need to consider your own fire safety and how a fire in your home could impact on other residents in your block. For example, our firefighters have been called to a number of cooking-related flat fires over the last few weeks. Whilst they were contained and extinguished quickly, we want to remind residents of the simple ways they can reduce the risk of a fire in their home.“Now the new year is well underway, this is a good time for residents to declutter the doorways and hallways inside your flat, check smoke alarms and make sure electrical items are in good working order. Residents can also request a free Safe and Well visit by contacting us on 0800 555 815.“It’s also important that residents know what to do in the event of a fire, whether it’s in their own flat or somewhere else in the building. If you have a fire in your flat you should stay safe by getting out, staying out and calling the fire service on 999. High rise residents should also make sure they know the emergency procedures for their building in case of a fire elsewhere in the block, which should be provided by their landlord or building management company.”

The fire safety reminder comes as residents are invited to the next High Rise Residents’ Forum on Wednesday 30 January.

The meeting is an opportunity to discuss issues and concerns about fire safety. Residents will also be updated on the ongoing work of the Greater Manchester High Rise Taskforce, which was set up by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

As part of this work GMFRS continues to work with local authorities, landlords and building owners and managers to ensure all high rise buildings have the right fire safety measures in place so residents can feel safe in their homes.

Fire safety work, which includes the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding and plans to retrofit sprinklers, is underway on local authority and social landlord owned blocks across Greater Manchester. The fire service also continues to support building owners and managers in the private sector to ensure interim fire safety measures remain in place until unsafe cladding can be replaced.

Chair of the High Rise Taskforce, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, said: “Greater Manchester has taken swift action to reassure residents living in high rises across the city-region and ensure they are safe in their homes. I’m pleased that our local authorities and social landlords are on with vital fire safety work, including the stripping of dangerous cladding and working with residents to install sprinklers.

“However, the Government is not doing enough to unlock funding for private sector buildings to ensure that work can be done without the cost falling to residents. As a result, hundreds of residents are still living in buildings which need the cladding replacing , anxious about not only the implications of a fire happening but also the prospect of huge  bills to pay for fire safety work. This is unacceptable and ministers need to take their heads out the sand and take responsibility for this national scandal, instead of simply passing the burden onto local areas and local residents.

“In Greater Manchester, we have put the safety of residents at the heart of what we do – I strongly urge the Government to follow suit.”

The High Rise Residents’ Forum takes place at 6.30pm, on Wednesday 30 January at GFMRS’ Training and Development Centre, Cassidy Close, Manchester. More details here.

For more information on how to stay safe from fire visit www.manchesterfire.gov.uk or call 0800 555 815. 

Take note of this High-rise fire safety advice:

Fire safety in your flat

  • Fit at least one smoke alarm in your flat and test it once a week.
  • Keep door and window keys accessible
  • Keep your doorways and hallways free from clutter.
  • Close all doors at night, especially the doors to the lounge and kitchen, to prevent fire spreading.
  • Your front door is a fire door – it keeps you and your neighbours safe. Never prop it open or remove the metal arm or chain which closes it.
  • Make an escape plan so that you and your family know what to do if there is a fire in your flat.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and don’t start cooking if you are very tired or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Maintain electrical goods and ensure you turn off appliances not intended to remain on for long periods, such as irons or hair straighteners.
  • Don’t overload plug sockets or extension leads
  • If you smoke, make sure you put cigarettes out properly, and don’t smoke in bed or while drowsy.
  • Take care with candles. Never leave one unattended and use a proper heat resistant holder on a stable surface away from draughts and flammable materials such as curtains.

Fire safety in your block

  • Keep all landings, corridors and doorways clear of obstructions, including rubbish.
  • Never wedge l doors open
  • Ensure doors to stairways are not damaged or faulty. Report any defects to your landlord or building manager.
  • Don’t keep things in your home or communal areas that are highly flammable  for example bottled gas, paraffin heaters or liquid fuel.
  • Dry risers provide water to firefighters to tackle fires on higher floors. If you see any damage to this equipment, please report it to your landlord or building manager immediately.
  • Never block emergency access to your building. Park considerately so emergency vehicles can get as close as possible.
  • Get to know your neighbours. They may be young, elderly or vulnerable, and need help during an emergency.

If any resident is concerned about fire safety in their building or fire safety advice given they should contact their landlord or managing agent, or contact the fire service on 0800 555 815.

MORE than 700 people previously sleeping rough in Greater Manchester have been helped into warm, safe and supported accommodation since November, thanks to the ground-breaking A Bed Every Night scheme.

Greater Manchester is the only region in the United Kingdom pledging this level of support this winter for those sleeping on the streets. A Bed Every Night is a concerted and co-ordinated drive across all 10 boroughs to accommodate every individual who wants and needs to come indoors.

Since A Bed Every Night accommodation opened across Greater Manchester at the start of November last year, 707 people have accessed services with 183 people indoors on the first Sunday night of 2019.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “The fact that more than 700 people have been assisted into A Bed Every Night accommodation in a little over two months shows both the scale of the crisis we face but also the effectiveness of scheme.

“The numbers of people facing or experiencing rough sleeping in our city-region are simply unacceptable – it is a humanitarian crisis on our streets and something we have chosen to face full-on with A Bed Every Night.

“I want to pay particular tribute to all the organisations, staff and volunteers in the teams across all boroughs of our city-region who are working every single day and night to deliver on the ground. Without this level of commitment an ambitious campaign such as A Bed Every Night would simply not succeed – the people of Greater Manchester care for each other, as our progress here demonstrates.”

In addition to the 707 former rough sleepers helped indoors, the scheme is designed to act as a springboard for people into more secure and long-term supported accommodation. A Bed Every Night is the intended first step for many on a journey to a life permanently off the streets, and since its introduction 154 people have been assisted through the scheme and into their own living arrangements.

The number of beds available through A Bed Every Night and the variety of support on offer continues to grow. In Crumpsall a former children’s home has been repurposed with 30 spaces available in single and shared rooms.

Residents also have access to shared communal spaces and a kitchen where, alongside staff, they are encouraged to develop cookery skills and help feed others living in the building.

A Bed Every Night runs until the end of March. The public and business can continue to support by donating to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity via www.bedeverynight.co.uk. Monies raised through the Charity will be directed towards A Bed Every Night until the campaign’s end.