As the cost of living increases across the UK, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) are urging people to take fire safety precautions in the home to stay safe.
The advice comes on the first day of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) national Home Fire Safety Week – running 13th – 19th June - which aims to keep people safer from fire in their homes.
This year’s campaign will see MFRS launch the NFCC’s online Home Fire Safety Check tool for use by Merseyside residents.
By using the online tool, people can explore whether they – along with loved ones or neighbours – could be at greater risk from fire. The innovative tool offers help and advice and will automatically trigger a visit from MFRS if a person is noted as being at higher risk.
The tool is available via the MFRS website here: https://www.safelincs.co.uk/hfsc/?ref=MRSFRS
Older relatives and neighbours might be vulnerable and at a higher risk in the home and would benefit from a ‘safe and well’ visit from MFRS prevention teams.
These visits can unlock vital safety help, advice, and solutions, while offering help from a range of our partner organisations. Call 0800 731 5958 to arrange a visit.
It is estimated one in four UK households are in fuel poverty and it is reported that the current cost of living issues could push more households into fuel poverty, leading to more fire risks.
Prevention Group Manager Mark Thomas said: “As the cost of living increases across the UK, we continue to offer help and advice to keep people safe. While we understand the pressures people are currently facing and affordability is a major factor for many, our Firefighters and Prevention teams will be giving practical help and advice, to help raise awareness and assistance. Every day of the year we put prevention work at the heart of what we do here at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. We are here to help keep people safe and happy in their homes.”
By taking a few simple steps, people can reduce their risk of fire in the home.
People are encouraged to make sure they have at least one working smoke alarm on each level of their home – these should be checked weekly. Consider installing additional alarms in rooms with electrical appliances or sleeping areas. If you hear a smoke alarm sounding you should safely check it out. If you believe that there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999 straight away
MFRS is also asking people to consider quitting smoking.
GM Thomas added: “Smoking is costly, it puts pressure on the NHS, it’s not good for your health and there is more chance of you dying in a house fire if you smoke. In fact, more people die in house fires caused by cigarettes or smoking materials than any other cause.
“If you are a carer for someone who is older or has poor mobility, please think about the implications of providing them with cigarettes. It may feel like a kind thing to do but it can have serious consequences – don’t kill them with kindness.”
For fire safety advice, or if you do not have working smoke alarms in your home, please call 0800 731 5958.
You can complete a free online home fire safety check here or call 0800 731 5958 to book a physical visit.