Advice issued around alternative heating with snowfall set to hit our region

Firefighters have urged residents across the region to stay safe when trying to heat their home this winter.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have issued advice as snow gets set to hit the region this weekend.

With households facing increased energy costs, the Service are expecting residents to find alternative ways to heat their homes.

That includes lighting fire places, wood burners, using hot water bottles, electric heaters and electric blankets.

And today (Wednesday) firefighters have urged residents to be careful, and issued a series of safety tips.

That includes:

  • Making sure there is one metre between electric heaters and clothing, furniture or other flammable materials
  • Not using electric blankets that are damaged, or have been rolled up in a cupboard for a number of years
  • Not using hot water bottles with electric blankets. Water and electricity don’t mix!
  • Making sure electric blankets and heaters aren’t left switched on overnight and that sockets aren’t overloaded
  • Ensuring chimneys have been swept before they are used for the first time over winter.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are fitted, regularly tested and working.

Group Manager Steve Thomas, who is the Head of TWFRS’s Prevention and Education Department, said the Service will always be on hand to offer support.

He said: “This is a difficult time of year for many residents across Tyne and Wear even without the added pressures of rising energy prices.

“We have already seen examples of people trying to heat their homes in alternative ways but thankfully there have not been any serious incidents in our region.

“Elsewhere in the country people have had their homes destroyed as a result of fires caused by electric heaters, blankets or a blocked chimney.

“That not only puts lives at risk but could lead to you being left homeless this Christmas or significantly out of pocket.

“We want people to follow our simple fire safety tips and, if you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need additional advice.

“We would also ask you to look out for vulnerable friends, families and neighbours and, if appropriate, we will be able to organise a free home visit.”

If you know someone who is vulnerable, and more at risk of suffering an injury in a fire, then please give us a call on 0800 0327777 or you can fill in the enquiry form on our website by visiting

Using the same contact methods above you can also get fire safety advice for yourself and your own property.