Fire service plea to help cut blaze deaths

By Antony Clay | 25/07/2017

Fire service plea to help cut blaze deaths
Fire safety officers are available to provide advice and fit safety measures.

BLAZE deaths could be cut if the firefighters were informed about people who are at risk, it has been claimed.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) wants GPs, social care teams, drug and alcohol services and others looking after vulnerable people to tell them who might be in danger.

SYFR said it could then work with people to make their homes safer.

Fire chiefs have launched the Fire Safe Together campaign to try and cut the number of people who die in fires each year.

Since 2011, 53 people have died in house fires in South Yorkshire, most started accidentally.

The majority were aged 50 or over.

Fire service investigations have found that issues such as hoarding, drugs, alcohol and mental health problems frequently contributed to fires starting.

Half of those who died lived on their own.

The Fire Safe Together campaign aims to identify those most at risk so that preventative work can be done to make their homes safer.

Head of prevention and protection, Steve Helps, said: “There are some common factors involved in almost all of our recent fire deaths, such as hoarding, loneliness, substance misuse and mental health issues.

“Often, those who died were already known to at least one agency, whether it’s a landlord, doctor’s surgery, council or social care team.

“Sadly, in most cases, they were not known to us. 

“If we had known about them, we could have done something to help. We could have prevented another needless death. We might have kept someone’s loved one alive.”

The fire service wants people looking after vulnerable individuals to become a Safe and Well partner to allow the fire service and local organisations to identify and reduce hazards for people most at risk with initiatives such as fitting smoke alarms, providing flame retardant bedding and installing misting systems to suppress fires.

More information is available at www.syfire.gov.uk/safe-well.



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