Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) is committed to supporting the safety and wellbeing of residents in all the communities they serve. To do this, they are calling on communities to help stop preventable deaths in house fires.
The Service has launched a new initiative - ‘Alarm Up Day’, which will take place on the first Tuesday of every month across the county. The day will see Cumbria FRS staff engaging with residents, checking in on the most vulnerable, carrying out free Safe and Well visits and encouraging people to check their relatives, especially older, have a working smoke alarm on each floor of their home.
It comes after Cumbria FRS responded to 360 property fires in the last 3 years, where there was no working smoke alarm fitted, 5 of these sadly resulted in fatalities.
Head of Community Safety, Craig Drinkald said: “These tragic deaths and incidents are often completely preventable. We investigate every fire that we attend, to understand how the fire started and developed and whether it could have been prevented entirely.
“The answer is all too often, is yes, the fire could have been prevented, and that person would have avoided injury or sadly, death.
“But the greatest challenge for us has always been reaching the most vulnerable people in our communities to make sure they have the life-saving advice and support they need.
“Which is why we are issuing a call to action - if you know someone who is over 50, smokes, lives alone or has mobility issues - we need you to help us reach them.
“Make the call to us and we can ensure that the people who may be at risk get the fire safety advice and support they need to help them stay safe in their home.”
Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they are working
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service always recommend that people have smoke alarms fitted on each level of their property and that they test them at least once a week.
On-call Support Crew Manager Jackson Kidd, said: “We know that there are people at risk, but we don’t know who they are or where they are. You might however, and you can put us in touch with them.
“If you are a carer or family then you can refer them to us on their behalf - if you are a neighbour or a concerned friend you must ask them for their consent before you refer them.
“Call them and check in with them and encourage them to seek our advice or ask if you can call us on their behalf - our staff are trained and equipped to offer the best advice possible.”
What is a Safe and Well visit?
Safe and Well Visits are available to those who are most vulnerable in our community. This may include those who smoke, have a disability or mental health problems, and are prioritised according to individual risk.
You can find out if you, a family member, or friend are likely to be eligible for a free home fire safety check by completing a short questionnaire via Cumbria FRS’s website.