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Take a virtual reality walk-through the £21m proposed fire training station for West Sussex

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Proposals for West Sussex’s first state-of-the-art fire service learning and development centre and new 24-hour fire station have been revealed.

West Sussex County Council is proposing the £21m development for land off the A24 at Highwood Mill, near Horsham.

You can take a virtual reality walk-through here:

A public exhibition to showcase the proposals will take place from 4 to 11 March at Horsham Library.

Two drop-in sessions for people to view the proposed development and chat to the fire service and architects will be held at the library on:

  • Thursday 5 March 4pm – 7pm
  • Saturday 7 March 9am – 12 noon

The 24-hour fire station will incorporate all the best practice around firefighters’ health and wellbeing, including designated ‘clean’, ‘transitional’ and ‘dirty’ areas for firefighters returning from incidents.

The learning and development centre will include residential accommodation to deliver firefighter training. In addition to various training rooms used for digital simulations and assessments, three ancillary buildings will assist in the delivery of real-life scenarios:

  • combined training tower and breathing apparatus facility
  • realistic live fire training facility which will have zero emissions
  • residential recruit training
  • multi-agency incident command training facility
  • realistic road traffic collision training area

The new facility has an emphasis on renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and air source heat pumps providing heating, in-line with the county council’s drive to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for the Fire and Rescue Service and Communities, said:

“These are incredibly exciting plans.

“It has long been our aspiration to build a state-of-the-art training facility for our firefighters and these will be among the best facilities in the UK.

“It has also been a vision for more than a decade to create a new fire station for Horsham. These are ground-breaking plans being put forward by the County Council for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and I would encourage people to come along to the public exhibition.”

Following the public exhibition, a planning application will be submitted in the spring.

HNW Architects are leading the design of the project and Willmott Dixon Construction have been appointed as the contractors to take forward the project.

Fire

Safety warning after tumble dried tea towel fire in Langley Green, Crawley

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Residents and business owners are urged to take care when using their tumble dryers this winter after a pile of folded, stacked, tumble dried tea towels self-ignited in the early hours of Monday morning.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has issued the warning after being called out to a business premises on Langley Drive, Crawley at 1.56am on Monday after the property’s smoke alarm alerted residents and staff to the fire.

Upon arrival, firefighters from Crawley, Horsham and Turners Hill fire stations found the fire in a ground floor kitchen and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly got to work using two high pressure hose reels, two covering jets and two CO2 fire extinguishers to put out the fire.

Station Commander Lee Walton attended the incident. He said:

“As this property had a working smoke alarm system in place, all occupants in the building were given plenty of time to evacuate the building and there were no injuries sustained.

“Investigations suggest this fire began after a pile of freshly washed and tumble dried tea towels were stacked. By doing this, the heat is unable to escape, and in some instances – as we believe the case to be here – this creates temperatures that are hot enough to start a fire.

“We urge everyone, whether you run a business or are at home using a domestic tumble dryer, to always use the cooling cycle on your machine or to let clothes and linen air properly before folding and putting them away. This allows the heat to disperse and substantially reduces the risk of fire.”

WSFRS is reminding residents of some easy steps to follow when using tumble dryers to ensure they stay safe.

• Make sure that washing temperatures and detergents are appropriate for the best removal of oil based contaminants

• Let laundry complete its cooling cycle in the tumble dryer

• Shake out laundry to ventilate before folding or placing garments on hangers

• Thoroughly clean tumble dryers on a regular basis

• Don’t place warm laundry in polythene bags, plastic containers or in poorly ventilated areas

• Don’t leave freshly laundered fabrics stacked overnight

• Don’t forget to test your smoke alarm – only working smoke alarms give an early warning to a developing fire.

For more information see https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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