Tweeting officers promote fire safety

A FIRE brigade has hailed the impact of delivering online safety messages after signing up to social networking websites Facebook and Twitter.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service uses the sites to engage with local communities and spread fire safety messages, along with raising awareness of events it hosts and attends.

The brigade now has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter.

Spokesman Matt Walton said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have got to this point. We took the decision to join Facebook and Twitter so that we could reach communities that we would struggle to engage with through traditional methods and it has been hugely successful.

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“It makes us much more accessible to people as we’re coming to them and using channels that they are comfortable with.

“People log onto these sites every day, Facebook is the most popular website in the world, and people have access to them wherever they are by using their phone. It means we can get our important safety messages directly to people’s pockets.”

The brigade had huge success with its involvement in the national Test it Tuesday campaign which sees all UK fire and rescue services posting messages on social networking sites to remind their friends and followers to test their smoke alarm that day.

Mr Walton said: “Test it Tuesday has been a massive success and we’ve really embraced the campaign in Humberside. We’ve had lots of celebrities re-tweeting our messages to their followers including Sarah Beeny, Richard Madeley and Dr Christian Jessen.

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“Our Test it Tuesday message reached over 800,000 people in one week alone.”

Humberside Police has sanctioned the use of Twitter for some neighbourhood beat officers and plans to extend use of the site over the next few months.

A total of 11 officers now “tweet”, including a member of the incident response team.