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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Shock at Fatal Fires

13/12/2010

Staffordshire’s Chief Fire Officer has spoken out following the death of the ninth person this year in a fire in the County. Three men alone have died within the past month.

“People need to stop thinking that a fire will never happen to them or someone they know. House fires don’t just happen in the soaps, they happen in reality."

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford said: “People need to stop thinking that a fire will never happen to them or someone they know. House fires don’t just happen in the soaps, they happen in reality - the only difference is that in real life smoke will kill you within a matter of minutes.

“We will always respond to emergencies as quickly as possible but what people need to realise is that casualties will often die from smoke before we even receive a call for assistance. This is why it is so important for people to listen and start to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of vulnerable people they are in contact with. All of the fire fatalities this year have involved older people, it is them who are often the most vulnerable as they find it most difficult to escape when a fire occurs.

“The information on how to keep safe is out there and we offer a free Home Fire Risk Check to all Staffordshire residents, so there is absolutely no excuse for you and your family not to be safe from fire this Christmas. Just a quick call to 0800 0241 999 may be enough to save your life or that of a loved one.

“You speak to any firefighter and they will tell you what a traumatic experience a house fire is for the people involved - fires not only kill and injure people, the mental scars on those involved can last a lifetime.”

In response to the increase in fatal fires during the winter months, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service launched an Older Person’s campaign in October. The aim of the Older Person’s campaign is to raise awareness of fire safety amongst older people and those who care for them. As part of the campaign the Service is currently running a competition, calling for people to nominate themselves, or someone they know, whose kindness has had a positive effect on an older person’s life. The winning person will win a relaxing spa day for two at Moddershall Oaks. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants need to ‘like’ Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s brand new Facebook Fansite page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Staffordshire-Fire-andRescue/103694959695016 and post their Kindness competition nomination on the wall by Friday 28th January 2011.