International fire and rescue experts have urged millions of Coronation Street fans NOT to follow the example of one of the show's leading characters when dealing with a blaze.
During a recent episode of the show taxi boss Lloyd Mullaney, played by Craig Charles, was seen kicking open the front door of a burning house and being thrown across the street by the backdraft from the blaze.
More than 11 million people turned in to watch the dramatic scenes filmed as part of the show's 50th anniversary celebrations. Although clearly a fictional drama fire experts are concerned that copy-cat have-a-go heroes could get injured or killed.
“Coronation Street is a world-wide television hit which is viewed by millions of people from Aberdeen, Scotland to Wellington, New Zealand. Everybody knows it is entertainment and scenes are made to be as dramatic as possible,” said Richie Wilson, Managing Director of Premier Fire & Safety Training.
“However, there is an argument that shows like Coronation Street should, where possible, try and educate people to stay safe and not take unnecessary risks.
“There is a house fire on average every 8 minutes in the UK and the latest figures show that around 8 people a week are killed as a result, more than half of them in domestic properties. If just one life could be saved or one less person injured because of something they saw on television that would be a tremendous result. However, it would be a terrible tragedy if someone was injured or killed because they did the wrong thing have seen it on a soap show.”
Would be rescuers or anybody trying to escape a fire should always check to see if there's heat or smoke coming in the cracks around a door before opening it. If there is any sign of smoke or if the door is hot it should not be opened unless absolutely necessary. The sudden rush of oxygen could cause a flash of flame and seriously injure or kill anybody who gets in its way.
“If you have to open a door when there is a fire on the other side it should be done very slowly and carefully and you should try to open it from a crouching position at the side of the door so if does blow open there is less chance of being engulfed in the full force of the flames,” added Richie Wilson.
“Anybody running up to a door and kicking it in, as was shown on Coronation Street, is putting themselves and others at tremendous risk.”
Premier Fire & Safety Training is one of the country's leading independent providers of legally required fire risk assessments for businesses, IFE accredited fire marshal or fire warden training and HSE accredited first aid courses.
The company, which is based in Galston, Ayrshire, provides training and support for businesses throughout the UK, Middle East and mainland Europe.
For further information of Premier Fire & Safety should visit www.premierfst.com or call +44 (0)7886 392682.