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Fire service urges residents to be more careful over Christmas after attending 34 fires including 3 in Crawley last December

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging residents to be more careful during the festive period after attending 34 house fires in December 2018.

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The peak in fires was up 39% from the previous month with three of them happening in Crawley.

The main reasons for the fires were cooking, faulty electrical equipment and negligent use of appliances.

Nicki Peddle, Head of Prevention at the fire service, said:

“Christmas can be a very busy time with more distractions when it comes to cooking or using electrical goods.  We’re urging residents to take some time to read through our tips and keep themselves, their loved ones and homes safe.”

Tips include:

  • Deck the halls with lights that conform to the British Standard. Be mindful not to overload plug sockets as this could start a fire.
  • Mistletoe and wine is to be saved for afters! The risk of a fire in the kitchen increase after alcohol is consumed.
  • Tis the season to check your smoke alarm regularly!
  • Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight. Have your chimney swept and checked. It might get you back on the nice list and prevent a chimney fire.
  • May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmas trees and furnishings be kept away from candles. Never leave candles burning unattended.
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to check on your elderly relatives or neighbours, are they fire safe?
  • It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store. Beware of counterfeit electrical items as they could cause a fire.
  • All I want for Christmas is you…to get home safely. Don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

For more fire safety information visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire and select our ‘keeping safe’ page.

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New £100k pedestrian crossing for families’ taking children to school installed in West Green

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West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette pictured trying the new crossing with her daughter before the school reopened.

A new pedestrian crossings has been installed in the past few months and is now operational, helping families with the walk to a school in West Green.

The crossing in Crawley cost £100,00 and is aimed to improve safety for families with school-age children – plus pedestrians generally.

With schools reopening and roads becoming busier after lockdown, people are being encouraged to leave their cars at home and consider other travel choices.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“The new crossings provide a safer route to schools for families and to other local amenities for pedestrians generally.

“People are being encouraged to consider walking or cycling for their journeys, if they can. It’s a great way to get fit, save fuel money and reduce the number of cars on the road. This in turn will improve air quality and reduce congestion.”

West Green Primary School requested the Puffin crossing for West Green Drive and worked with the county council’s transport improvements team to build the case for road safety improvements.

Other enhancements had already been introduced, including ‘School Keep Clear’ markings, to provide pupils and parents with a safer environment.

Throughout this process, West Green continued to provide pupils with road safety education and encourage sustainable travel.

West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette Tomsett said:

“The school is delighted to have worked closely with West Sussex County Council in bringing to fruition this crossing. It will make a huge difference in the safe route to school for our pupils and families, alongside having a positive impact for the whole community for now and for the future.”

The improvements cost a total of about £100,000.

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