Film ID:
YFA 5501

FIRE PREVENTION IN THE HOME

c.1954

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by the Humberside Fire Department, this is a public safety film warning of the dangers of fires in the home and how they can prevented.  It acts out various scenarios in which fires can take place: with an open fire, a gas cooker, smoking and electrical appliances, along with some first aid advice.  It has both intertitles and a running commentary.

Title – Fire Prevention in the Home

The narrator begins the film by stating that it has been made to help you to avoid the dangers of fire and to prevent those mistaken and careless acts which may result in death, injury damage or destruction.

Intertitle – Fire is an enemy people are inclined not to worry about if they have never met it.  When it strikes – without warning – the danger may be seen too late to avoid disaster.

The film begins showing the Central fire station, as a green “Selles” van drives past.  At the entrance to the fire station are two buttons: one for enquiries, and one for fire.  A man runs across a road, near KMR factory, and gets into a white public phone box and phones the fire brigade, with the commentary informing us that in Hull it is not 999, but just 99 to dial.  Three fire engines emerge from the station.

Intertitle – Turning out to one of the fires which occur in this country every three minutes of every day.

A woman stands by her front garden beckoning the engines as they arrive at her house.   Firemen carrying fire extinguishers rush into the house.

Intertitle – Was this yet another fire that could have been avoided?  Don’t let this happen to you!

There are cuttings from local newspapers headlining recent fires.  A woman enters her front room and lays a fire using newspaper, sticks and coal, and lights it.  She then places a sheet of newspaper over the fire place to draw the fire, and leaves.  The newspaper catches fire.

Intertitle – Don’t risk a fire by using a newspaper to draw up a fire.

The woman then takes a can of paraffin to the fire.

Intertitle – Petrol, paraffin, turps etc. should NEVER be used to light a fire.

The can turns out to be empty.

Intertitle – The carrying of burning coal from one fire grate to another is extremely dangerous.

The woman duly arrives with some hot coals on a shovel which she puts in the grate, dropping one of the coals on the carpet, setting it on fire.

Intertitle – A metal sheet may be used to draw up an obstinate fire provided it is placed outside the house after use and allowed to cool.

The woman gives a demonstration of just such a metal sheet with handle.

Intertitle – The positioning of a mirror above the fireplace has caused far too many fatal accidents through the flimsy clothing of women and children coming into close contact with the fire.

The woman combs her hair in front of the mirror above the open fire, with her dress coming close to the fire.  She then does some ironing in front of the fire, and places the iron face down while she answers the phone, scolding the iron board.

Intertitle – Always place the iron on an incombustible stand when not in use, switch off when called away.

She then places the clothes rack in front of the fire for the clothes to dry and leaves the house, situated on Sutherland Avenue.  She walks with a friend and they go into Whitehead’s Grocery Stores on the corner of the street.  Meanwhile, an item of clothing falls onto the fire, and the women returns just in time to stop it setting anything else alight.

Intertitle – Guard that fire at all times.

The woman places a guard in front of the fire.

Intertitle – A close wire mesh fire guard is essential in every home, particularly when old people and children are present.

A child stands in front of the fire, catching her night dress alight.

Intertitle – Specially treated fire retardant winceyette can now be obtained for use in making children’s nightdresses etc.

The child sits reading in front of the fire, with the mother keeping her safe.

Intertitle – Remember it is an offence to allow any child under the age of 12 to be in a room with an open fire grate without taking precautions to prevent the child from being burnt.

There is then a demonstration showing the difference between treated and untreated fabrics.  A man, trying to light his pipe, fills his lighter from a petrol can in front of the fire, causing a blaze.  He then leaves his pipe in his jacket pocket, causing it to catch fire.  A similar thing happens with a cigarette.

Intertitle – When lighting the gas on your gas stove light the match first then turn on the gas.

A woman gives a demonstration of this and of putting out a pan fire using a wet cloth.  Then the dangers of hanging tea towels above a gas stove are shown.

Intertitle – Never rely on the switch of the appliance to cut off the current: always switch off at the wall switch or remove the plug from the socket.

A woman vacuums in front of the fire.

Intertitle – Do not remove the plug from the socket by pulling on the flex.  Don’t run a number of appliances from one point. This may overload the wiring and cause a fire.

This is shown, as are other hazards of running electrical wires around the house.  There is then a demonstration of which amp fuses to use for which electrical appliance, as well as which ones to use in a fuse box.

Intertitle – The Heating Appliances (Fireguards) Regulations 1953.

There is then a demonstration of the different tests used for guards on gas fires, paraffin fires and electric fires, followed by a warning about using a two pin plug rather than a three pinned plug with an earth.

Intertitle – Burns and Scalds.

A woman burns herself as she goes to take a dish out of an oven.

Intertitle – Cover burn or scald with a sterile dressing, lint or clean linen and bandage to exclude air.  Don’t break any blisters.

Another woman bandages her arm.

Intertitle – After such First Aid treatment the patient should consult a doctor.  Far more accidents occur in the homes than on the roads.  Educate your family to be fire conscious.

Title – The End.