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‘Test It!’ campaign launched at Royal Welsh Winter Fair

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fire-alarm-home-ukTHE THREE Welsh Fire and Rescue Services’ in Wales are telling residents to “Test it” at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair this week.

Staff from the three Services work hard to help make sure people know how to prevent fires from starting, and highlight that the best way of protecting yourself in the event of a fire in the home is to make sure you have a working smoke alarm.

The latest figures show that many residents in Wales still do not have a smoke alarm – in three out of ten dwelling fires that occur in Wales, there is no smoke alarm installed.

Stuart Millington from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “The ‘Test it’ campaign is aimed at making sure people test their smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are in working order.

“Time and time again firefighters have seen first-hand how a smoke alarm could save you in the event of a fire.”

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection at the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “In our experience, people killed in house fires are often sleeping at the time. A smoke alarm will wake you up and give you vital extra time to escape and call for help.

“And what better time to remind people of the importance of having smoke alarms than just before Christmas, when the number of incidents we attend rises significantly. And don’t forget to look after your vulnerable friends and relatives by ensuring they have working alarms too.”

Matthew Jones, Head of Home Safety at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service commented, saying: “There really i no excuse for not having a smoke alarm – you can book a Home Safety Check from your local Fire and Rescue Service to get advice, which may include the fitting of a new alarm for free – just call us on 0800 069 1234.

“Keeping our communities safe from risk is our highest priority and ensuring that each home has a working smoke alarm which is tested on a regular basis. Making it part of a regular routine means that householders and their families are kept safe from the risk of fire.”

Follow these top tips to ensure your smoke alarm gives you the best chance of escape in the event of a fire:

  • Test your alarm regularly – they recommend once a week. Follow #TestItTuesday.
  • Never remove the battery unless replacing it with a new one.
  • Do not take it down, put it in a drawer and forget about it – you would be surprised how many people do this.
  • If it does not work or beeps when it really should not – then contact the fire service for a replacement.
  • Make sure you practice an escape plan in the event that it does go off.
  • Even a hardwire smoke alarm needs testing – they have a backup battery in case of a power cut.
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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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