London Fire Brigade

Brigade launches #safetyselfie campaign

19 September 2013

The London Fire Brigade has launched an innovative social media safety campaign aimed at preventing fires and saving lives.

Using the hashtag #safetyselfie, the Brigade is asking the UK’s 40 million Twitter and Facebook users to post photos of themselves taking steps to prevent fires, in a bid to prevent blazes – especially during the strike.

The craze for selfies, where people take photos of themselves on their smart phones and upload them to social media sites, has reached new heights and a recent poll by phone company HTC revealed that Britons take 35 million photos of themselves a month. The campaign also follows the recent news that the word ‘selfie’ has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said:

“People love taking photos of themselves and the current obsession with selfies seems to know no bounds. Twenty million people in the UK now have smartphones and I’m calling on them to take part in our campaign by sharing a snap and using the #safetyselfie hashtag.

“This is the first time any emergency service in the UK has used selfies to promote safety and we’re really hoping the idea will catch on. If enough people take part I really believe we could prevent some fires and maybe even save lives.”

The Brigade said that #safetyselfie photos could show:

• People testing their smoke alarms
• People keeping an eye on their cooking to prevent kitchen fires
• People visiting takeaways when tipsy to avoid kitchen fires
• Cigarettes being disposed of safely
• Candles being used in a safe way, i.e. well away from curtains and in heat proof containers
• People cleaning their hobs or ovens – greasy build-ups can cause kitchen fires
• Clear fire escape routes in homes

Safety selfies should be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #safetyselfie. The best photos will be shared with the Brigade’s 27,700 Facebook fans in a dedicated album and will be retweeted to the Brigade’s Twitter audience of 54,800.

The campaign is about showing off safety savvy, so the Brigade is urging people to be careful while taking their selfies.

#safetyselfie will form part of the Brigade’s wider campaign, ‘Take Extra Care,’ which will aim to encourage people to take extra steps to prevent fires in the home.

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Brigade has over 53,500 followers on Twitter and over 27,000 followers on Facebook. It has launched a brand new Instagram account in honour of the campaign. http://instagram.com/londonfirebrigade

The Brigade will be posting selfies regularly over the next week on its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

75% of 18 to 24 year olds take selfies according to a poll by HTC.

Young professionals (age 18-35, with a degree, who drink alcohol 3 times a week) are responsible for a high percentage of accidental dwelling fires in London. In 2009 there were 1,610 fires involving young professionals. In 2012 this was reduced to 1,515 due to our work on social media.

It is estimated that 30 million people in the UK have smartphones (emarketer).