Phoenix Services

March 14th, 2017 by

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service’s Phoenix Services Community Engagement provides discretionary services supporting the service’s core values since 2002. Through its Safety and Education catalogue, Phoenix offers both accredited and non-accredited training, including fire warden, fire extinguisher, basic marine fire-fighting and a range of first aid courses, including paediatric first aid. The brochure can be found here:

Phoenix - Community Engagement Educaton and Training

Through its driver training school, Phoenix Services offers a range of options, from pre-driver training aimed at 15-17 year olds, right up to full D1 training, which qualifies participants to drive a minibus over 3.5 tonnes, including outside the UK. For further information please contact the Phoenix Services team on 01326 318177.


8 out of 10 parents fit their child’s car seat incorrectly – know the rules for using child car seats

March 14th, 2017 by

The law regarding booster seats for children changes on March 1 2017. Under new EU wide regulations, manufacturers are not allowed to introduce new models of backless booster seats for children weighing less than 22kg or shorter than 125cm. These seats are unsuitable for small children and offer limited protection in the event of a collision because the child is not held securely by the adult seatbelt across their body. New models of backless booster cushions must be clearly labelled as only suitable for children over 125cm in height and 22kg in weight. The new rules don’t affect existing models of seats or cushions and it doesn’t mean that they are illegal, so parents who already own and use backless boosters will still be permitted to use them. However 66% of parents with children under the age of 12 do not know the current laws about child car seats and these changes may encourage parents to consider checking how their child travels.

The alternative is a high backed booster seat for children aged 4-12 (group2/3) that offer a safer alternative to a backless booster seat, until your child reaches 125cm tall or 22kg.

Disturbingly industry safety tests show 8 out of 10 parents install child car seats incorrectly, when using a seat belt while 94% of parents use ISOFIX correctly. There are two standards for choosing a child car seat: the newer i-Size standard, based on height, and the older ECE R 44/04 standard, based on weight. The law still requires all children less than 12 years old or under 135cm tall (whichever is first) to be carried in size appropriate restraints. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear an adult seat belt, according to the new rules. Non-compliant drivers face a fixed £30 penalty or fine of up to £500.

Car Seat Incident 1

Jane Tomlinson from Cornwall Council Trading Standards says “Your child can travel safely by following a few basic guidelines.  Always buy new from a reputable supplier as they are guaranteed to be made to the strict European-wide safety standards and UK law legally approved E-marked (Capital E in a circle) car seat standard which have been the subject of rigorous crash safety testing. Many retailers will check it is suitable for your child’s weight and size and show you how to correctly fit it in your car for the first time. Buying a second hand child car seat, including those often sold as part of a travel system, is not recommended as the instructions are often missing. In addition, you do not know if it has sustained an impact or been in a collision resulting in internal damage that is not visible to the naked eye. Car seats must never be used in a side-facing seat and if you use the car’s front passenger seat then this airbag must be turned off”.

With 27% of parents confused about car seat safety Cornwall Trading Standards and Fire & Road Safety are offering FREE community car seat safety checks. Cornish residents transporting babies and primary school aged children are welcome to pop along between 9.30am – 3pm to the following locations on:

Tuesday 21st March 2017 at The Children’s Ark, Pendeen School, Church Road, Pendeen, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 7SE

Wednesday 22nd March 2017 at St Stephens Community Academy, Roydon Road, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8HL

Tuesday 28th March 2017 at St Austell Children’s Centre, Woodland Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4RA

 A trained Road Safety Officer will complete a car seat safety check and promote road safety advice, which takes approximately 10 minutes. Trading Standards will also be on hand to promote child product safety advice. For more information please call Trading Standards on 0300 1234 191.


Kill the conversation keep your eyes on the road

March 5th, 2017 by

Kill the conversation keep your eyes on the road

Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service are campaigning to make the public aware of the changes in law of using your handheld mobile phone whilst driving and urging all drivers to follow this to stay safe. From the 1 March 2017 the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for using a handheld mobile phone while driving will increase to £200 and six points. For newly qualified drivers, if you are less than two years from passing your test this would mean losing your licence.

Research suggests sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. In 4.6 seconds a car travelling at 30mph would have travelled 61.5 metres (202.4 feet) that’s about the wingspan of a 747 Jumbo Jet.  We are asking drivers if they would be happy to drive this distance at 30mph with their eyes shut?

Green Watch at Penzance Community Station, together with the Service’s Prevention and Road Safety team, are campaigning to make drivers aware of the risks and penalties and discourage the use of mobile phones while driving, highlighting the below safety messages;


Even if you’re otherwise driving safely:

  • From 1st March 2017 you could be fined £200 and get six points on your licence (previous penalties £100 and three points).
  • Six points would mean losing your licence if you’re less than two years from passing your test.
  • Refuse to accept the fixed penalty and you could be taken to court.
  • If the police think the offence so bad that a fixed penalty isn’t enough you could be taken to court.
  • Fines in court will almost certainly be larger and disqualification is possible – the maximum fine in a court is £1,000, or £2,500 if you were driving a bus or a goods vehicle.


  • Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text and a split second lapse in concentration could result in a collision.
  • Put your phone somewhere out of reach so that you are not tempted to make or answer calls when you’re driving, all phone calls distract drivers attention from the road.

If you need to make or take a call

  • Stop or leave it to go to voicemail – even if you have a hands-free phone.
  • If you must talk, and have a hands-free phone, keep conversations short and simple or say that you’ll find a safe and legal place to stop and phone back.
  • Employers should issue specific company advice on mobile phone use.

Calling someone’s mobile

If you call someone and think that they might be driving, ask:

  • Are you driving?
  • Is it safe to talk?
  • Do you want to call me when it is safe to stop?

Paul Walker Chief Fire Officer said: “I fully support this important road safety campaign to increase awareness of the devastating impact and dangers associated with distracted driving. The number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is on the increase, with the use of handheld mobile phones when driving a contributory factor. I encourage all road users to “THINK ROAD SAFETY” and understand the dangers, penalties and devastating consequences of handheld mobile phone use when driving.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities Geoff Brown said: “Using a mobile phone whilst driving can potentially be fatal and even holding it whilst stopped at traffic lights could be deemed an offence under the new law.  My advice would be to switch the device off when driving which avoids any desire to answer it.

We are asking drivers to kill the conversation and keep their eyes on the road.


Trading Standards Volunteers

March 3rd, 2017 by

Cornwall Council’s team of Trading Standards Volunteers have proved their value again this month. Following several repeat visits to one victim of scam mail to gain his trust, two of our Volunteers finally managed to persuade the man to hand over his hoard of fake demands, letters and bogus prize notifications. They recovered more than 120kg (19 stone) worth of scam mail from his house, the biggest haul to date.

TS pic 2

The team is also starting to deliver awareness raising training sessions to Royal Mail depots in Cornwall in the hope that postal workers will be able to spot likely victims of the mass marketing scammers.

Trading Standards continued its battle to curtail the sale of illegal tobacco and cigarettes. Following information from a local PCSO a raid on a Camborne shop allegedly selling illegal tobacco proved successful – 3 people were arrested and interviewed and 527 packets of illegal cigarettes seized. A Community Engagement Day, in conjunction with the Smoking Cessation Team at Public Health took place in Camborne on 1 March. Similar events have generated several intelligence reports as well as stop-smoking pledges from the public. The Team is also supporting Public Health and local Councillors with their designation of ‘smoke free’ play park in the wards of Hayle, Porthleven and Marazion.

TS pic 1

Trading Standards in the news – The Fair Trading team was in much demand this last month, providing five radio interviews, one local television interview and a national television interview on a range of subjects, from scam mail, to illegal tobacco to misleading prices.

Our Buy with Confidence business accreditation scheme is close to welcoming its 50th member, almost doubling the number of ‘Trading Standards approved’ businesses over the last year.


Penalties increase for those caught using a handheld mobile phones when driving

March 1st, 2017 by

Mobile phone 2

From 1st March you get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200.

Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.

These changes will have a significant impact on young motorists who offend, who risk having their licence revoked following a first offence.

Mobile phone

Using mobile phones when driving

It’s illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device while driving, or riding a motorcycle.

The rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.

You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted. This includes if you’re using devices like your sat nav or car radio.

When you can use a phone in your vehicle


If you’re the driver, you can only use your phone in a vehicle if you:

  • need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
  • are safely parked


Mobile devices – Remember!

  • Switch off your mobile device before you set off so you are not tempted to use it.
  • Don’t make or answer calls when you are driving.
  • It is illegal to use a hand-held device when driving, even if you’ve stopped at traffic lights, are in a traffic jam or driving slowly in a car park.
  • No conversation, text message or online post is more important than a person’s life




Using a mobile device, such as a mobile phone or tablet, whilst driving diverts your attention away from the road. You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile device while driving. No call is worth the risk.






Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: