An award-winning website is being re-launched with new features aimed at making it even easier for families and businesses to keep themselves safe from fire. 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service's website -www.cheshirefire.gov.uk- has twice been highlighted as one of the best in the country in an annual survey of over 470 public sector websites. Now the service has completely revamped its online site. Visitors can develop their own personal fire safety home page giving them just the information and services they want to see. 

 IncidentCheshAs well as being able to adapt and personalise the website to suit their needs, visitors can also use a new My Area application, or online module. By just typing in their post code (restricted to Cheshire), people will instantly receive links to: 

  • Recent incidents attended by fire crews in their area 
  • Details about upcoming local events 
  • Press releases about work by the service in their neighbourhood 
  • Contact details for their local station, community and business safety centre and local fire authority members. 

Chief Fire Officer, Paul Hancock said: "The internet is now critical to the way we communicate and provide our community safety services to local communities." 

"This radical new overhaul of our website uses some of the latest online developments to allow people to choose and personalise the services and information they want from us. 

"Obviously we will be continuing to visit people in their own homes to give face to face advice and fit free smoke alarms. But for people and businesses that are online and want to both stay safe and keep up to date with our work, we think this a major step forward." 

Other key features of the website, which also meets top level accessibility and plain English standards, include: 

  • An online home safety assessment application 
  • A text alert system which tells people about major incidents in their area  
  • Dedicated service Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr channels  
  • Live station performance statistics and maps 
  • Online access to details of all major incidents and news stories 
  • A fully interactive 'Kidzone' 
  • A special facility to read out pages for people with visual impairments