During the first two months of 2017, crews attended a number of accidental dwelling fires, three of which had fatal consequences, all of which related to factors which included smoking, alcohol, mobility and elderly people.
Since that time, the service has been working closely with a number of key partners to improve the way it shares information and deliver essential services to those most in need.
However, it now needs to call upon additional resources out in communities to help save lives by referring vulnerable residents to the new Safe and Well visit service.
Talking about the campaign, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Services Community Fire Safety Manager, Moreno Francioso said:
“Although the number of fire deaths may seem low, it is an unusual occurrence for and goes against the data we have for the last four years, where we have had no fire deaths at all. In a bid to tackle this issue, we are urging families, friends, neighbours, care workers, dementia friends and health workers to be aware of the dangers faced by elderly and vulnerable residents and to alert the fire service, so we can carry out a free Safe and Well visit.
“Sadly, sometimes, the first time we know about someone at risk is when it is too late. For us, this is not acceptable, which is why we are trying to raise awareness of those people who are most at risk of fire and provide advice on how you can keep them safe!”
Supporting the campaign, Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:
“Smoking in the home is a real fire risk and that only increases as residents get older and become less mobile. Simple steps such as fitting working smoke alarms in the home or purchasing fire retardant throws can make all the difference to someone who is at higher risk. Equally ensuring that residents don’t do things like overload plug sockets or leave cooking unattended can make all the difference to keeping them fire safe.
“The key message here is that Safe and Well visits really do save lives! This has been proven time and time again in homes across Warwickshire. So please don’t delay, if you know of anyone, especially an elderly or vulnerable resident who would benefit from a free Safe and Well visit, then please log onto https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/safeandwellvisit or call 01926 466282 and apply today!”
Safe and Well visits have now replaced our Home Fire Safety Checks. The checks are much more comprehensive and include not just assessing fire safety risks, but also slips, trips and falls, winter warmth and home security. The checks are carried out by a member of our Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. All checks are pre-booked.