Visits to the homes of people who are 65-years-old and older in Merseyside were carried out in a day of action by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service.
More than 1,600 homes were visited across Merseyside and given fire safety advice in one day as part of work for Older People’s Day and Home Safety Week. A total of 57 people who were at high risk of fire or at high risk if a fire were to start were also identified during the day-long work.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “People who are 65-years-old and older may be more vulnerable to fire if a fire were to start in their home. We target our work on the most vulnerable in communities, who may live on their own, and this day of action saw a real focus on locating and making contact with those people in that age group to help to make them safer from fire.
“Firefighters were joined by our fire prevention staff but also staff from our fire and rescue service headquarters also joined the work, to highlight our safety messages.
“I would urge people in Merseyside to check on their elderly relatives and family members who are 65-years-old and older, test their smoke alarms or, if you think they need help, please call us to arrange a Home Fire Safety Check on 0800 731 5958.”
Work this week and today included visits to homes where staff, firefighters and prevention staff will be carrying out Home Fire Safety Checks and offering fire safety advice. The fire prevention vehicle will also be out in the community throughout the week.
Smoke alarms were provided for free to people in Merseyside who were 65-years-old and older and those referred by a care provider or partner.
The Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA) Home Fire Safety Week, runs from September 28 to October 4. Older People’s Day was held on October 1.
Fire Prevention staff in Liverpool also provided Home Safety presentations to housing association representatives during this week.
Cooking is the main cause of accidental fires in the home. From the beginning of 2013 to mid-July 2015, firefighters attended 1,333 accidental house fires in Merseyside caused by cooking.
However, smoking is the main cause of fire deaths in the home.
People are urged to follow this simple fire safety advice:
• Fit smoke alarms on every level of the home and test them each week.
• Ensure cigarettes are stubbed out properly in a proper ashtray.
• Never leave food cooking unattended and keep it out of reach of children.
• Don’t overload plug sockets and switch off electrical appliances after use, apart from those designed to be left on such as fridges.
• Keep lit candles, portable heaters and heat sources away from curtains or furniture and never use them to dry clothes.
• Plan an escape route and ensure everyone knows it.
• Never tackle a fire. In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
Group Manager Gary Oakford said: “Every day our fire prevention staff and firefighters are out visiting homes, offering Home Fire Safety Checks and giving fire safety advice to people in the community.
“Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to having a fire in their home. However, some simple safety measures can help people to stay safe.”
In total, 1,648 homes were visited in Merseyside on October 1, with 973 receiving fire safety leaflets and 675 receiving Home Fire Safety Checks by firefighters and fire prevention staff.
To request a Home Fire Safety Check, for yourself or someone else, call 0800 731 5958 or go to www.merseyfire.gov.uk .
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