Safety first message
Firefighters from the Clydesmill Fire Station in Cambuslang are joining their counterparts from across South Lanarkshire in a week of action aimed at protecting vulnerable people.
The unprecedented move follows a recent appeal from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ( SFRS) for the public to help them reach those most likely to be killed or injured as a result of fire in the home.
People over the age of 60 accounted for almost two-thirds of those killed by fire in 2015 and, as well as age, the common factors contributing to many of the deaths were smoking, illhealth, living alone and limited mobility.
By sending operational crews and community firefighters to households, SFRS hopes residents will benefit from the advice and support available to keep their homes and everyone in them safe.
Area manager Alan Fairbairn – SFRS local senior officer – said: “If someone is over the age of 60, lives alone or has difficulty moving around then it can take more time for them to escape in an emergency.
“Our crews can help make sure smoke alarms are positioned where they will give people very effective early warning and that everyone knows how to get out if a fire does start.
“We can help people understand the risk of smoking in bed or if they’re tired and sitting in a chair, but even if someone just can’t avoid doing this then we can work with partners to find solutions and lower their risk.
“A huge amount of support is available but we need our partner agencies and the public to help us make sure it gets to those who need it.
“Firefighters want to help residents understand the risks and take the very minor actions we know will dramatically reduce the chance of a fire starting and, if it does happen, increase the chance of everyone escaping unhurt.”
Free home fire safety visits take around 20 minutes to complete and are conducted by local SFRS crews at a time convenient for the householder.
A popular feature of the Join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire campaign, they are available by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form at www.firescotland.gov. uk.
Area manager Fairbairn added: “We all need to do what we can to protect not only ourselves but also those around us.
“When responsible citizens put vulnerable people in touch with us it can make all the difference and I’d appeal for everyone to consider if they know someone who is potentially vulnerable and could benefit from our support. We also want to remind everyone in South Lanarkshire that if they hear a smoke alarm activating then they need to call 999 and report it right away.
“It’s common for people to assume an alarm has gone off due to something innocuous like burnt toast and hesitate to make an emergency call, but the fact is waiting to see if the alarm stops could cost someone their life.”
Action Firefighters at Clydesmill are taking part in a week of action to keep vulnerable people safe