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Fire service urges motorists to think twice when parking

May 29 2020

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging motorists to be considerate after struggling to reach a blaze for the second time in 24 hours due to parked cars.

Inconsiderate parking causes us unnecessary delays, and lost minutes really can mean the difference between life and death when we are responding to a serious incident. It is an issue that every single road-user can help to avoid by allowing enough room for us to pass.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber

Crews from Cannock were called to Chasewater country park at 2.50pm on Thursday 28 May to reports of a grass fire near the sailing club off Pool Lane. Firefighters were delayed as they had to make their way on foot and used a council ranger vehicle to move equipment due to the high volume of parked cars.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze using a main jet before it spread any further.

It came less than a day after a similar incident saw them unable to tackle a fire at the same country park for more than 20 minutes on Wednesday (27 May) evening due to cars blocking their access route on Pool Lane.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Rob Barber said: “We understand that people will want to get out and enjoy Staffordshire’s beautiful scenery over the weekend. However, it is important they do so responsibly.

“Before you set off please check that car parks are open, or ensure that you can park in a safe and considerate way that allows access for fire appliances and other emergency vehicles. If you can’t guarantee this then please think twice about your visit and return at a different time.

“Fire engines are approximately 2.6 meters wide. Therefore, if you’re parking your vehicle and don’t think that a van could get through the space – it is extremely unlikely that a fire engine will – so please keep this in mind, especially on narrow country lanes.

“Inconsiderate parking causes us unnecessary delays, and lost minutes really can mean the difference between life and death when we are responding to a serious incident. It is an issue that every single road-user can help to avoid by allowing enough room for us to pass.”

 

Top tips when parking:

 

  • Pull in your wing mirrors
  • Don’t park too close to corners, fire engines are larger than cars and need more room to turn
  • If you’re parking opposite someone, remember that a fire engine needs around 3m, or two car widths, to pass safely
  • Make sure your wheels are straight and not sticking out
  • Park as close to the kerb as you can
  • Always follow the Highway Code and obey the road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
  • In narrow streets or country lanes, only park on one side of the road where possible
  • Make sure you leave enough space for pedestrians on the pavement
  • Don’t block driveways or gateways