Firefighters in West Sussex are supporting this year’s Home Fire Safety Week by reminding people about the help available to keep older people safe from fire.
Home Fire Safety Week (September 28th – October 2nd) is being led by the Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA) and has been timed to coincide with Older Persons’ Day on October 1st. Nationally, the risk of dying in a fire for those aged over 65 is more than twice as high as the average risk for all ages.
Firefighters will be out during the week raising awareness of the Service’s life-saving Home Safety Visits at community events across the county.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Intervention & Prevention Manager, Nicki Peddle, said:
“A great deal of our campaigning and prevention activity involves working with our partners and the public to reach those older people most at risk of a fire so we can help them to stay safe and independent in their homes. In particular, the Home Safety Visits we carry out are a key factor in reducing the number of people losing their lives in house fires.
“Over the last 12 months, because of the referrals we’ve received, we’ve carried out almost 6,500 Home Safety Visits. Last year although sadly there were four fire fatalities in West Sussex, none of these were as a result of an accidental house fire. This is encouraging but we know there is much more work to be done. We still need the public and our partner’s help in reaching the people who most need our help.
“We’re asking people to support Home Fire Safety Week by recommending a Home Safety Visit to an older relative or friend. It’s a free service arranged at a convenient time to the occupier. We tailor the visits to address the specific needs of the individual and, where needed, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. Priority is given to those over 65 or with a disability.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service particularly wants to reach those who:
• Are over 65 and live alone
• Have a physical disability or frailty affecting their ability to either summon help or escape in an emergency
• Use a Community Alarm or Emergency Monitoring service like Careline or Lifeline
• Have an acquired sensory impairment or difficulty hearing a standard smoke alarm
• Have a cognitive impairment affecting their ability to remember things or retain information, such as dementia
To request a Home Safety Visit call 0845 872 9719 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire
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