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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters and NHS Join Forces

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the NHS are working together to support smokers who want help quitting following the tragic death of a Brown Edge pensioner earlier this month.

"Through our Stop Smoking Referral Service, we offer access to free advice and support which many people need in order to give up smoking successfully."

Vanessa Knibbs, Smoking Cessation Project Officer

The man was smoking in his home and accidentally dropped his cigarette which set fire to his clothes. He died from his injuries a few days later in hospital.

Moorlands Area Commander, Tim Hyde said: "The Brown Edge incident was a tragic accident and has been devastating for many people. As a Service, we can put smokers in touch with the relevant NHS department who will assist with helping smokers to quit.

"We promote this service through our Home Fire Risk Checks, as one of our main questions when carrying out a Home Fire Risk Check is ‘are there any smokers in the home.

"Smoking in the home can lead to serious fire risks, as many people do not properly extinguish cigarettes before discarding, they could fall asleep whilst smoking on the sofa or in bed, or as the Brown Edge incident highlights, accidentally drop cigarettes onto clothing. It does not take long for a fire to spread in the home as there are usually many combustible materials all close together."

Vanessa Knibbs, Smoking Cessation Project Officer said: "Not only is smoking in the home dangerous because of the fire risk it is also the biggest cause of preventable ill health and premature death in the UK today. Stopping smoking offers many health benefits, for the individual and for other members of the household, as well as a reduction in fire risk and financial benefits.  

"Through our Stop Smoking Referral Service, we offer access to free advice and support which many people need in order to give up smoking successfully. We have numerous specialist stop smoking advisors based all over the Moorlands and Newcastle who can offer this support and referrals can be received from a wide range of people; from those who have decided to quit to those who are simply looking to find out a bit more information about the local services."

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999, to contact the North Staffordshire Stop Smoking Service direct call 08456 003 003 (option 4), or for the Stoke-on-Trent Stop Smoking Services call 0800 085 0928.