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Interactive fire advice at station; HANDSWORTH.

FIRE officers in Handsworth are offering people a 'red hot' experience to get their safety message across.

The innovative Handsworth community fire station in Rookery Road, which celebrated its fifth birthday last year, is encouraging city groups of all ages and abilities to find out first hand about the dangers of fire in its interactive Red Hot Education Station.

It allows visitors to witness a real fire in a safe environment and tour a virtual room to learn the best way to survive if trapped.

Visitors can also sign up for a free home fire risk assessment, which includes fitting smoke detectors where needed and providing life saving advice.

Tim Smyth, centre manager, said: "In ideal circumstances help will arrive within five minutes of dialling 999, but we cannot always get to people in time.

"If we can talk to them in advance we can pass on information to prevent a fire in the first place."

The station was the first community-built centre of its kind in Europe. It has a whole range of facilities that can be used by the public alongside the education station.

Many local support groups use it as a base and it has provided training in public services and IT skills.

To arrange a free safety check, contact your local fire station on freephone 0800 389 5525.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 16, 2006
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