Do not tackle fires is the message from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) after statistics show an increase in the number of fire-related casualties in the county.
There were 22 primary fire related casualties – referring to all fires in buildings, vehicles and outdoor structures or
any fire involving casualties, rescued or fires attended by five or more crews – between April 1, 2012, to March
31 2013, compared with 12 the previous year.
Sixteen of these casualties were as a result of accidental dwelling fires – an increase from six the previous year.
Wendy Coleman, Community Safety Risk Manager at CFRS, said: “These figures emphasise more than ever why residents should not tackles fires themselves. A high number of these casualties were people who discovered the fire and attempted to put it out or someone who actively tried some form of firefighting action.
“If you come across a fire, we recommend that you do not attempt to put it out yourself. Flames, heat, smoke and fumes can cause serious harm and result in injuries that can prove fatal. Buildings and possessions can be replaced but you can’t replace your life.
“Always remember, if a fire occurs in a building then get out, stay out and call 999. If you are able to close all doors behind you then this is best practice to prevent the fire spreading.”
Of the 22 casualties in the county, 17 were injured as a result of a fire in a dwelling, one casualty was involved in a boat fire, two were involved in fires that occurred outside, one was in a car and one at a non-residential property.