A week of action was held by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to help to keep elderly people in Liverpool safe from fire in their homes.
Staff were out in force carrying out Home Fire Safety Checks, fitting smoke alarms and hosting community events aimed at people over 65 as part of the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA) Ageing Safely Week.
More than 1,750 homes in Merseyside, including 418 in north Liverpool and 329 in south Liverpool, were targeted on UK Older People’s Day, which was held during the week of action.
More than 70 staff from various departments at our Service Headquarters volunteered to assist firefighters and community prevention advocates in carrying out Home Fire Safety Checks (HFSCs) and visits to homes of elderly people on the day.
During the week, district prevention teams and firefighters also visited sheltered accommodation, attended community events aimed at elderly people and organised activities including a pilates for seniors at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub, which was led by personal trainer Paula Muldoon.
Ageing safely talks were also held throughout the week, offering advice on how to stay safe from fires in the home, as well as information on safe heating in the winter and highlighting the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted correctly.
The public were also encouraged to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they have working smoke alarms on each floor of their home.
Statistics show that the risk of dying in a fire for those aged over 65 years old is more than twice as high as the average for all ages. With an ever increasing older population – 23% of the population in the UK will be aged 65 and over by 2035. MF&RS is responding by shaping its Home Safety Strategy to help older people prevent fires and keep them safe in their homes.
Prevention and Protection Area Manager Myles Platt said: “MF&RS has focused its resources on older people during Ageing Safely Week, particularly during Older People’s Day where we engaged with over 800 elderly people of which 42 required further interventions due to them being identified as being at a high risk of fire in the home.
“Working with elderly people is a key part of our service delivery and we will continue to deliver high quality Home Fire Safety Checks to the over 65’s in Merseyside, to help them stay safe in their homes.
“I would also encourage people to check regularly on the welfare of their neighbours, especially those who may be elderly or vulnerable and ensure that they have working smoke detectors on each floor of the property.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “During the week, we have been targeting as many older people as possible in a variety of ways, including visiting homes, holding talks at sheltered accommodation and attending community events.
“”Elderly people can be particularly vulnerable to fire, especially in the winter if unsafe heating methods are used. They may also be more likely to experience a kitchen fire as a result of food being left unattended because of fatigue. If the action during the week can help prevent a fire fatality, this will have been a very worthwhile campaign.”
For free fire safety advice visit http://www.merseyfire.gov.uk/ or call 0800 731 5958.
Pictured above Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service District Advocate, Rachel Renshaw, pictured with Old Swan resident Sheila Corrie, during a visit to her home
Picture right:Colleen Martin, Assistant Director for Supporting Communities at Liverpool City Council with MF&RS Area Manager Myles Platt and MF&RS Station Manager Paul Kay