Safety

Strategic priorities for Kent Police consultation

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

As Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott sets the strategic priorities for Kent Police.

Earlier this year he published Safer in Kent: The Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan.The plan is kept under constant review and is regularly updated in line with what local communities want.

Mr Scott wants to know what matters most to you, so please take the time to fill out our short survey and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to fill one in as well. You do not need to provide your name or any contact details if you do not wish to.

A summary of responses will be published here when the Safer in Kent Plan is next updated.

Please remember that the Safer in Kent Plan only sets the strategic priorities for Kent Police – it cannot amend or change the way officers are deployed or the way operational decisions are made. These are matters for the Chief Constable to determine. The PCC’s job is to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the plan and its strategic objectives on your behalf.

Don’t leave engine running in an unattended vehicle

In a Tweet, Kent Police’s Road Policing Unit have warned drivers not to leave their vehicles unattended with the engine running to warm them on frosty mornings.

Note: It is an offence to leave a vehicle unattended on a road unless the engine is stopped.

Impact speed and injury


Impact vomparison at various speedsThe risk of injury increases exponentially with impact speed. A crash at 30mph involves a lot more energy and destructive potential than a crash at 20mph.

Driving faster not only lessens drivers’ chances of being able to stop in time to avoid hitting someone or something. It also means if they can’t stop in time, they will hit with greater impact. The greater the impact, the greater the chances of causing serious injury or death.

A vehicle travelling at 20mph (32km/h) would stop in time to avoid a child running out three car-lengths in front. The same vehicle travelling at 25mph (40km/h) would not be able to stop in time, and would hit the child at 18mph (29km/h). This is roughly the same impact as a child falling from an upstairs window.

The greater the impact speed, the greater the chance of death. A pedestrian hit at 30mph has a very significant (one in five) chance of being killed. This rises significantly to a one in three chance if they are hit at 35mph. Even small increases in speed can lead to an increase in impact severity.

Brake the Road Safety Charity

#SpeedDown

High pressure burglar alarm sales

Kent County Council (KCC) have received reports of a company using high pressure techniques to sell burglar alarms with a 5 year maintenance contract.

One salesman demanded the 80 year old resident pay the full amount upfront.

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep callers to KCC.

For advice on what to do if you or someone you know has been pressured into buying a product visit Citizens Advice or telephone them on 03454 04 05 06.

If you require work done to your home get a number of quotes. Use a reputable company who has been recommended by family or friends or use a Kent County Council approved trader via Checkatrade www.checkatrade.com/kent/.

Report it

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

Kent County Council  24 November 2017
http://mailchi.mp/kent/kent-residents-targeted-with-high-pressure-burglar-alarm-sales

Stopping distances

Speed and stopping distances don’t increase at the same rate. Small increases in speed result in bigger increases in stopping distances.

Stopping distances include the distance travelled while the driver notices a hazard and applies the brakes (thinking distance), and while the vehicle comes to a full stop from its initial speed (braking distance).

The stopping distances shown here are based on a reaction time of 0.67 seconds, which assumes the driver is alert, concentrating and not impaired. Driving when tired, distracted or impaired significantly increases reaction times, so the thinking distances should be regarded as minimums.2

The braking distance depends on how fast the vehicle was travelling before the brakes were applied, and is proportional to the square of the initial speed. That means even small increases in speed lead to significantly longer braking distances. Braking distances are much longer for larger and heavier vehicles, and in wet or icy conditions.3

Technology such as anti-lock brakes and stability control are designed to enable greater control over the vehicle, not shorten stopping distances. There may be a very small reduction in braking distance with modern technology, but not enough to significantly affect your overall stopping distance.Whatever technology a vehicle has, the basic fact remains that the faster you drive, the longer your stopping distance, and therefore the less chance you have of stopping in time in an emergency.

Brake the Road Safety Charity

#SpeedDown

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes

Speed Down saves livesSpeed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties.

Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.

Reducing and managing traffic speeds is crucial to road safety.

Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions is recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor in almost one in four (23%) fatal crashes in the UK.1 This is arguably a gross underestimate, because whether or not a vehicle is judged to have been speeding or going too fast for conditions, the fact it was involved in a collision means it was going too fast to have stopped in time. In this way, speed is always a contributory factor, albeit often in combination with other causes: no one was ever killed by a stationary vehicle

Brake – the road safety charity

#SpeedDown

What’s your excuse?

People speed for a number of reasons:

  • because they are in a rush to get somewhere,
  • because they are unaware of the speed limit,
  • because they enjoy driving fast,

and for many more reasons besides. But there’s no excuse for speeding – it’s a major factor in many road crashes, and the faster a vehicle is travelling, the greater the amount of energy transferred in a crash, and the higher the likelihood of serious injury or death.

View the no need to speed explanimation video showing the risks of speeding, with TRL academy director Richard Cuerden.

Clear snow from a road, path or cycleway

KCC cannot clear pavements so please take extra care when walking.

A common rumour at this time of year is that people are not allowed to salt the pavements – this is untrue.

The government advice is:

You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. It’s unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully.

When you clear snow and ice:

  • do it early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow
  • don’t use water – it might refreeze and turn to black ice
  • use salt if possible – it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight
  • you can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt – it will provide grip underfoot
  • pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways – using more salt may help

For more information about Kent’s Winter Service, including a map of gritting routes, visit:
www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/what-we-look-after/winter-service

Use the available salt bins to scatter grit over pavements and roads near your house.

Find out where the salt bins are by using the KCC map.
http://webapps.kent.gov.uk/KCC.MyNearestGIS.Web.Sites.Public/Default.aspx?lyrs=36&xmin=594032&xmax=605208&ymin=136304&ymax=143035&bg=_osColour

Extension lead sparks fire

We add advice from Electrical Safety First to an urgent safety warning issued by firefighters after an extension lead overheated, starting a house fire in Hamstreet, near Ashford last night (Tuesday, 7 November).

The blaze was discovered by a neighbour just before 8pm who heard the smoke alarms sounding and went into the house. The occupant was not home at the time so the neighbour attempted to put the fire out, taking in smoke in the process.

Three fire engines were sent to the end-of-terrace property and arrived to find smoke billowing from the rear of the house. They gave the neighbour oxygen therapy before handing him into the care of an-off duty paramedic for precautionary checks.

Ashford Watch Manager, Kevin Surridge said: “A breathing apparatus team found a coiled up extension reel that was run to a tumble drier in a first-floor rear bedroom, had sparked the blaze.”

Firefighters made sure the fire was completely out and cleared smoke and fumes from the property using a special fan.

Kevin added: “As the weather cools down, we start to use more electrical appliances around our homes, but my advice would be to only use them when you are there, never leave them running while you’re asleep or away from your home.”

With Christmas next month, homeowners will soon be thinking about decorating their homes with lights and are asked to please keep safety in mind – don’t overload sockets, use circuit breakers and make sure extension leads are fully unwound to prevent overheating.

Kevin ended: “Just because there might be space to plug in four appliances on an extension lead, it doesn’t mean it’s always safe to do so. Make sure your home and family are safe from the devastating effects of fire this winter by having working smoke alarms and testing them regularly.”

The fire damage was limited to the room of origin, but caused extensive heat and smoke damage to the first floor.

If you have any concerns about keeping yourself or a friend or relative safe, get in touch with Kent Fire and Rescue Service by email or phone.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service 8 November 2017
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/november-2017/extension-lead-sparks-fire-in-hamstreet-home/

Electrical Safety First Advice regarding extension leads and heaters

Extensions and cables

The more wall sockets you have in your home the less you will need an extension cable or adapter. However, many portable electrical items like lamps and radios are supplied with relatively short cables. So sometimes it is unavoidable not to have to use one, but beware of the following dangers.

  • Damaged cable, due to leads being walked over, continually bent at the same point or stored badly.
  • You can trip or fall over taut, over-stretched cable.
  • Leads on power tools frequently become tangled, leading to one of the conductors eventually failing – this could cause danger.
  • Overuse of multi-way adapters or adapter blocks, which increases the risk of fire

An extension lead should only be used when it is not possible to reach a wall socket with the equipment cable. When the use of an extension cable is unavoidable – follow these simple suggestions:

  • Only use an extension lead which was bought ready-assembled.
  • We recommend that no extension lead be more than 15 metres long.
  • Only use extension leads fitted with suitably insulated connectors and plugs. (Never join two lengths of flexible cable by twisting the bare ends of wires together.)
  • Position an extension lead carefully to prevent any risk of damage.
  • If the cable has to cross a pathway, cover it with a rubber protector strip.
  • Always check that leads, plugs and sockets are undamaged.
  • Always check the extension lead plug contains the correctly rated fuse for the equipment being used.
  • If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating.
  • For general use, 2-core extension leads should not be used.

www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/around-the-home/extensions-and-leads/

Electric heaters

  • Never leave portable heaters unattended
  • Never leave them on whilst sleeping
  • Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
  • Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
  • Never buy second hand halogen heaters
  • Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it

www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/11/playing-with-fire-consumers-are-risking-lives-by-using-portable-heaters-incorrectly/