Firefighters are urging anyone who cares for an elderly parent, relative, friend or neighbour, especially if they are a smoker or have mobility issues, to apply for a free Safe and Well visit, following the third fatal fire in Warwickshire this year involving an elderly person who smokes.
Fire crews were called out to a fire on Beverley Avenue in Nuneaton last Thursday. Despite the quick response by the emergency services, the resident was sadly found deceased when firefighters entered the premises.
Talking about the incident, Group Commander and Head of Community Protection for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, Tim Sargent said:
“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the gentleman’s family and friends at this very difficult time.
“Unfortunately, this is the third fire death in Warwickshire this year that has involved a vulnerable resident who is a smoker. A joint investigation with Warwickshire Police has found that the fire was accidental and was caused by a discarded cigarette.
“This is a stark reminder that smokers are more at risk of having a fire in their home, especially when they are more vulnerable. If you are a carer for a parent, relative, friend or neighbour, then I am urging you to help us to reduce fire deaths in Warwickshire by applying for a free safe and well visit. This will give our crews the opportunity to assess the risk in their home and ensure that preventable measures are put in place to reduce the chance of a fatal fire. It just takes one call!”
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:
“Our main priority is to keep the residents of Warwickshire safer. To achieve this, we need everyone to play their part. Most people know that the fire and rescue service deal with fires and road traffic collisions, but not everyone will be aware of the vast amount of work that they undertake in partnership with key agencies to help keep the most vulnerable people safe.
“If you know of anyone who may benefit from a free Safe and Well visit, then don’t wait, apply today and keep the ones you love safe!”
If you are a carer; then there are things that you can do to prevent a fire in the home. The main signs to look out for include;
• Burn marks on the carpets, smoking in bed, overfilled ashtrays
• Hoarding – storing lots of boxes, rubbish, paperwork around the house
• Overloaded plug sockets – plug sockets plugged into plug sockets
• Faulty electric blankets – look out for frayed wiring, burn marks on the blanket
All of the above increase the risk of having a fire in the home. If you have seen any of the above signs in the home of a person that you care for, then please apply for a free Safe and Well visit by logging onto: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/safeandwellvisit or calling 01926 466282.