Caring Together
I would like to take this opportunity to explain how the Fire Service can help the members of the community and you the members of the community can help the Fire Service.
We have long recognised that most people who die or are injured in fires do so in the home.
Recent research suggests that for many older people, fire safety issues tend to be less immediately top of the mind than the need to protect their homes from intruders. Findings from the 2000 British Crime Survey suggest that older people are actually less likely to experience a domestic fire than younger people. However, when they do experience such a fire, the consequences are often far more serious. Approximately half of all accidental dwelling fire deaths in England and Wales every year occur amongst the over 60's. Over the past five years, the average fatality rate in accidental dwelling fires has been higher amongst the over 60's compared to the average fatality rate for the population as a whole.
Understanding the specific issues and problems faced by older people is vital to the development of successful strategies to reduce deaths in accidental household fires. Furthermore, data from campaign tracking research suggest that the over 65's are a particularly "hard to influence" group via traditional media sources, this may be due to little awareness of where to go for help and guidance on fire safety issues. Whilst most would welcome advice from the Fire Service, few are aware that they can approach the Fire Service for help. Indeed, there is some reluctance to do so for fear of wasting the Service's time.
This is where you can help; elderly people often have many fire risks in their home, which if identified correctly, can be easily rectified. Sometimes the only contact with the outside world for these people will be you. This may be a member of the family, a family friend or even a neighbour.
· Spare a minute to check on elderly relatives and neighbours...Are they safe from fire?
· Check their smoke detector for them.
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