Safety

KFRS customer promise consultation

Fire service personell

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) are consulting on their Customer Promise

KFRS exist to help keep you safe whether at work, home or as you move around Kent and Medway. They deliver services for everyone working and living in our changing community. They aim to give people advice and support in order to reduce the risk of fire and other emergencies as they go about their daily lives. Of course, accidents still happen and they aim to provide an excellent emergency response when it is needed, meeting the needs of every individual involved.

The KFRS customer promise sets out what you are entitled to expect from them, and what they expect from our staff. It also outlines the standards that they have set in the key areas of service that they know are important to you. And because a statement is simply a statement, you will find quantifiable targets by which their performance can be measured in their action plans. Above all, it is their commitment to provide you with an assured level of service, giving you the peace of mind that they are working to help you stay safe in your home, at work and when you’re out and about in Kent and Medway.

There when you need them

  • Everyone in Kent has a right to expect an excellent response from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
  • They will always seek to innovate so we can deliver a service that meets changing local needs.
  • To develop a better understanding of our customers’ needs so they can provide services that fit your needs and accessible advice to help you keep yourself, your home and your business safe.

Respect, fairness, compassion

  • KFRS recognise without bias the rights, needs and dignity of others in all our contact with you.
  • They will work to see things from our customers’ perspective and treat everyone with compassion, fairness and respect
  • They will ensure all people, but particularly those with a disability; lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people (LGBT); ethnic minority people; older people; and people from minority faiths, are aware of ther services, feel confident to access them and understand how they can be adapted to meet individual needs.

Working with you to deliver good value services

  • KFRS will seek your views and listen to your feedback to help them shape and deliver services.
  • They will continue to deliver the best service they can by setting targets and honestly reviewing performance to see where they can improve.
  • They will spend public money in a way that maximises community benefits.
  • They will take a common sense approach to our work with partners including police, ambulance and public health to save money, avoid waste and build safer, resilient communities.
  • They will continue to work in a way that minimises their impact on the environment.

To listen, learn, and resolve your problems

  • KFRS will make it easy for you to contact them. 
  • Staff will listen and deal with you in a professional, friendly way, avoiding jargon and taking responsibility to resolve your issue.
  • They will respect and protect your privacy and personal data. They maintain a secure network and servers to safeguard your data against malicious activity.
  • Despite best efforts they occasionally make mistakes. When things do go wrong, they want you to feel confident that they will listen and deal with your complaint quickly and learn lessons to improve their services.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service
https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/about-us/our-customer-promise/

Enjoy bonfires and barbecues responsibly

With many spending their extra time at home in the garden we remind you to be careful and considerate when lighting bonfires and barbecues.

Please consult your neighbours before lighting a bonfire or barbecue, essential workers may need to wash clothes more frequently and smoke can aggravate some medical conditions. Neighbours may also mistake bonfire smoke as being from a property or uncontrolled fire and call the fire brigade.

Rules regarding bonfires.

You must not burn general household waste, but may burn garden waste from your own garden if this is done without causing a nuisance to others.

If there is no alternative to having a bonfire, you must:

  • Ensure that smoke does not cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  • Ensure that the smoke does not affect highway safety

and you should:

  • Avoid burning in hot weather – when neighbours are more likely to need windows open
  • Notify neighbours that you will be having a fire
  • Ensure that the fire burns quickly, rather than be left to smoulder
  • Ensure that green waste has completely dried out prior to burning
  • Ensure that the fire is not left unattended, and have a means to extinguish a fire if necessary
  • Ensure that the wind direction will take any smoke away from neighbouring properties

Burning of commercial waste

In addition to the law of nuisance, it is an offence to burn commercial waste (including construction and demolition waste), and to produce dark smoke from industrial or trade premises. No bonfires should be lit on commercial premises, except for the burning of ‘green’ landscaping waste cut down at that property.

Fire service safety advice:

  • Remember to build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches.
  • Keep it to a manageable size and make sure it is evenly built so it collapses inwards as it burns.
  • Always have a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby in case of emergency. If the bonfire becomes out of control and catches foliage or property alight, call 999.
  • Be sure not to leave bonfires unattended and dampen them down fully once you’re done.

Those enjoying barbecues are also urged to do so safely, keeping cooking well away from fences, foliage and buildings even if there are no flames, because radiated heat alone can cause nearby plants or structures catch fire.  

Ashford Borough Council
https://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-environment/environmental-health/bonfires-and-wood-burners/bonfires/

Kent Fire and Rescue Service
https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/april-2020/rise-in-bonfire-999-calls-linked-to-covid-19-isolation/

Council Tax 2020/21

The main precepting authorities for residents of the Borough have announced their proposed precepts for the year commencing 6 April 2020 as shown in the table below for a Band D property:

Authority19/20% Rise£ Rise20/21
KCC £1,299.42 3.99%£51.84 £1,351.26
ABC£162.503.08%£5.00£167.50
FRA£77.761.97%£1.53£79.29
PCC£193.155.18%£10.00£203.15
Total unparished £1,732.83 3.95%£68.37 £1,801.20

The total Council Tax for each property band is shown in the table below.

BandProportion Band D%
Band D
2019/202020/21Rise
pa
2019/20
pm
2020/21
pm
Rise
pm
A6/967% £1,155.22 £1,200.80 £45.58£115.52£120.08£4.56
B7/978% £1,347.76 £1,400.93 £53.18£134.78£140.09£5.32
C8/989% £1,540.29 £1,601.07 £60.77£154.03£160.11£6.08
D9/9100% £1,732.83 £1,801.20 £68.37£173.28£180.12£6.84
E11/9122% £2,117.90 £2,201.47 £83.56£211.79£220.15£8.36
F13/9144% £2,502.98 £2,601.73 £98.76£250.30£260.17£9.88
G15/9167% £2,888.05 £3,002.00 £113.95£288.81£300.20£11.40
H18/9200% £3,465.66 £3,602.40 £136.74£346.57£360.24£13.67

Some authorities have yet to vote on their budgets.

References:

KFRS Safety and Wellbeing Plan 2020

You have probably never spent much time considering how your fire and rescue service works to reduce the likelihood of an emergency happening to you. We hope this brief guide gives you a reassuring insight into the depth of the planning and work that goes on to help you stay safe. 

We need and want to tell you about what we think the issues are, and consult you on any proposals we want to make which change the service you receive. This plan is mostly to tell you how we do this, what we think about and what we then do with the information. It also covers some investments for the future we are making, and where we want to set the Council Tax for 2020/21. 

All fire services, by law, have to assess risks in their areas. In Kent and Medway we want to get the best possible understanding and assessment of public safety across Kent and Medway, and all the things that we think could reasonably predict happening that could cause injury or loss of property. This is best done with your help so we understand the issues which could make you more vulnerable, and the needs you have from us. We can then develop ways to help change behaviour to reduce harm, through our prevention work, or our emergency response service.

It’s all about you…

We focus on people and how their individual needs can best be served. For example:

  • People living with some forms of dementia, or physical or mental disabilities may be more vulnerable to fire and may need tailored support in the event of an emergency.
  • People may be at risk because of the nature of buildings in which they live.
  • People could be impacted by risks in their local area, such as grass fires, coastal flooding or similar risks within their community. 

We look at these alongside broader issues in society such as how populations change and how a warmer climate might affect fires. 

Bringing all these risks together we work out the blend of fire stations, firefighters and specialist equipment and teams that we need, in order to get to you as quickly as possible within the money we have available to us. We look at what work we can do to prevent fires and road traffic collisions by helping people change to safer behaviours, and also what we can do to make buildings safer.

The first part of this plan is a summary of the eight elements we bring together to understand how best to serve you. We are very happy to give you a more in-depth explanation should you wish by emailing information.officer@kent.fire-uk.org

Nick Chard, Chairman of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority

Flood Warning lifted

The Flood Warning affecting parts of South Ashford was lifted on Monday Morning and the Flood Alert for the Lower Stour was lifted thisMorning (Christmas Day) but the whole of the Upper Stour area remains at Flood Alert

Updated at 7:42pm Wednesday 25 December 2019

Upper River Stour

Flooding is possible – be prepared

River levels have fallen significantly throughout the Upper Stour catchment but some low lying land and roads may still be affected by flood water, particularly in the area around Great Chart. The Aldington and Hothfield flood storage areas are still impounding water from the recent heavy rainfall last week but water levels are falling steadily. The weather conditions are expected to remain dry overnight but further rainfall is forecast on Boxing Day, 26 December 2019 which is likely to cause further localised flooding of low lying land.   We are continuing to monitor the situation as the catchments remain very responsive to further rainfall.    This Flood Alert message will be updated tomorrow morning, 26 December 2019.

This information was last updated at 7:42pm Wednesday 25 December 2019

River levels are falling through the catchment. We are storing water at Aldington and Hothfield Flood Storage Reservoirs and they are emptying slowly. Today is forecast to be dry but the occasional shower cannot be ruled out. Weak frontal systems are forecast on Monday/Tuesday night with blustery showers embedded, a second system is forecast for Thursday. The current expectation is that these are not likely to be as disruptive as last weeks rainfall. We are monitoring conditions. Residents should remain vigilant as catchments are saturated.

This information was last updated at 12:33pm Monday 23 December 2019

South Ashford on the East Stour River, Aylesford Stream, Whytewater Dyke and Ruckinge Dyke

Last time in force: 8:57am Monday 23 December 2019

After a period of drier weather, river levels have fallen and the risk of flooding has now passed.

This information was last updated at 8:57am Monday 23 December 2019

Upper River Stour

Flooding is possible – be prepared

River levels are high following recent heavy rainfall. The weather forecast is for less rainfall over the next few days, which will allow river levels to reduce. The ground remains very wet, and river levels will rise again if there is further heavy rain. We continue to monitor the situation closely, This message will be updated in the morning on Monday 23/12/19, or as the situation changes.

This information was last updated at 7:05pm Sunday 22 December 2019

Flood warning

South Ashford on the East Stour River, Aylesford Stream, Whytewater Dyke and Ruckinge Dyke

Flooding is expected – immediate action required

River levels remain high in Ashford following rainfall over the last few days. We expect river levels to fall through Sunday 22 and Monday 23 December. No further heavy or prolonged rainfall is forecast, and we expect the situation to improve. We will update this message by 9am on Monday 23 December, or as the situation changes.

This information was last updated at 9:54pm Sunday 22 December 2019

River levels remain high in Ashford following rainfall over the last few days. We expect river levels to fall through Sunday 22 December. No further heavy or prolonged rainfall is forecast, and we expect the situation to improve. We will update this message by 3pm on Sunday 22 December, or as the situation changes.

This information was last updated at 5:06am Sunday 22 December 2019

Heavy showers have held river levels high and they remain at their peak level. This warning remains in force. We are continuing to monitor conditions in the catchment and are clearing blockages where they are identified. We are storing water at Aldington and Hothfield upstream of Ashford . Residents are recommended to remain vigilant. A few heavy showers are forecast throughout the day before a band of frontal rain passes through overnight from saturday to sunday 21st to 22nd December 2019. River levels will respond to this but given the forecast it is not thought that conditions will be any worse than they were on Friday

This information was last updated at 1:14pm Saturday 21 December 2019

River levels remain high but steady following prolonged rainfall, especially in Ashford. Flooding of properties, including The Stour centre, roads and farmland is possible. We believe there is a possibility of flooding for properties along Tannery Lane. Further rainfall is forecast through Saturday 21 December which may cause levels to rise again. We are closely monitoring the situation. Please plan driving routes to avoid low-lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded. This message will be updated on Saturday afternoon 21/12/2019

This information was last updated at 5:05am Saturday 21 December 2019

https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/target-area/064FWF6SouthAsh

Know what to do

The best way to protect yourself from flooding is to know what to do in advance.

We issue 3 levels of flood warning:

Image of flood alert symbol
Flood alert – Prepare
  • prepare a bag that includes medicines and insurance documents
  • check flood warnings

Image of flood warning symbol
Flood warning – Act
  • turn off gas, water and electricity
  • move things upstairs or to safety
  • move family, pets and car to safety

Image of severe flood warning symbol
Severe flood warning – Survive
  • call 999 if in immediate danger
  • follow advice from emergency services
  • keep yourself and your family safe

https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/plan-ahead-for-flooding

Hotpoint and Indesit Washing Machine Recall

Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd has identified up to 500,000 Indesit and Hotpoint washing machines to be recalled and replaced in the UK.

Following discussions with the government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards, Whirlpool’s announcement relates to a fire risk from the door lock system on certain washing machine models.

If you have a washing machine from Hotpoint or Indesit:

1. unplug and do not use it
2. check if it’s a model with a known fault from the list below
3. if it is, contact the Whirlpool freephone hotline 0800 316 1442 or register on the Whirlpool website

At the time of posting the Whirlpool recall page was not responding. We understand that the phone hotline is also not operational.

List of model numbers:

FML 742P UK
WMAOD 743G UK
WMAOD 743P UK
WMAQB 721P UK.M
WMAQC 641P UK.M
WMAQC 741G UK
WMAQC 741P UK
WMAQC 741P UK.M
WMAQF 621G UK
WMAQF 621P UK
WMAQF 641 P UK.M
WMAQF 721G UK
WMAQF 721P UK.M
WMAQL 621G UK
WMBF 742G UK
WMBF 742K UK
WMBF 742P UK
WMBF 742P UK.M
WMEF 722 BC UK
WMEF 742 P UK
WMEUF 722P UK
WMEUF 743G UK
WMEUF 743P UK
WMFG 741P UK
WMFG 741P UK.M
WMFUG 742 P UK.M
WMFUG 742G UK
WMFUG 742P UK
WMFUG 842P UK.M
WMJLF 842P UK
WMJLL 742P UK
WMSAQG 621P UK
WMXTF 742G UK
WMXTF 742K UK
WMXTF 742P UK
WMXTF 742P UK.M
WMXTF 842P UK.M
WMYL 7151PS UK
XWA 81252X K UK
XWA 81252X W UK
XWD 71452X K UK

Read more about the Hotpoint/Indesit tumbledryer recall and find other recalls on the gov.uk product recall page

Register your appliances to ensure that you are notified of safety recalls.

Find links to lists of recalls for other products on our Acting on Product Safety post

Police warning following theft of unsafe toys

A trailer containing an unsafe batch of Little Tikes Squeezoo Bubble Bus and Elephant toys was stolen from Wellesbourne Distribution Park. This batch of toys was on its way to be destroyed due to quality control issues and potential safety risks associated with them.

While the brand is still stocked by reputable retailers, Detective Constable Daniel Griffiths of Warwickshire Polce said: “We’re urging people to show caution when buying these toys them from a market, car boot sale, online auction site or social media.

“This particular batch of toys were on their way to be destroyed due to quality control issues and there are potential safety risks associated with them.

“We have launched an investigation to identify the offenders and retrieve the stolen toys. I’d appeal for anyone with information that could help with our investigation to contact us.”

The stolen trailer is blue curtain sided with a red chassis with the identification number C451753. The number plate may have the partial registration WT67.

Anyone with information about the theft or who thinks they have seen the stolen toys for sale should call police on 101 quoting incident 50 of 22 November 2018.

CALL 101 – INCIDENT 50 of 22 NOVEMBER 2018.

Alternatively, information be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Kent County Council Public Protection
Warwickshire Police