Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Last Friday, I joined Wigan’s Firefighters at the home of Katie-Jo Finney, Sydney St, Platt Bridge (and her daughter Lacy) to support a vital free service offered by Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service.

Home Fire Risk Assessments (HFRA) are available to all households in Wigan and are free. Firefighters spent approximately 30-40 minutes with Katie-Jo discussing general fire safety issues, how to make a fire plan, and how to leave the property the safest way in the result of a fire.

The firefighters also went through a questionnaire regarding Kati-Jo’s lifestyle in relation to risk from fire and specific advice was provided, whilst the second crew member was fitting smoke detection where required and checked each room in the house for hazards and then discussing the hazard with the occupier to reduce the risk.

The Fire Service in Wigan aim to fit smoke detectors and carry out HFRA’s in all properties in the Wigan area and Wigan Station Commander, Steve Sheridan confirmed that his teams on average carry out over 40 HFRA’s a day. Agreements with partner agencies such as Wigan & Leigh Housing have seen HFRA’s carried out in all their properties over the recent past.

Wigan Station Commander Steve Sheridan said, "In Wigan we are committed to reducing fire deaths by ensuring that every home in the area has a working smoke alarm. We have already fitted over 100,000 free smoke alarms in our local communities across the Greater Manchester area. Along with fitting free smoke alarms, we also give occupiers a free fire safety check."

“Smoke alarms save lives and I would urge anyone without one to book a Home Fire Risk Assessment today by calling 0800 555 815."

Fire safety has progressed considerably since the 1980s when less than one in 10 homes had a smoke alarm. Due to the efforts of firefighters across the UK, the number of homes with a smoke alarm is over 80%, but this still leaves far too many unnecessarily in danger.

Smoke Alarms save lives and I know that Katie-Jo and Lacy will feel much safer for the advice received today.I would encourage every household without a smoke alarm to book a free appointment today.

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