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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Festive fire safety talk for 'Busy Minds'

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Older people in Codsall will benefit from a winter home fire safety talk during their festive celebration on Tuesday, December 16.

"Through our 'Christmas Cuppa' campaign we aim to make some of the most vulnerable members of our community safer in their homes. We are urging people who know someone who might need a bit of extra help to contact us and to book a free Home Fire Risk Check on their behalf. The person making the referral is welcome to be there when it is carried out and we will visit at a time to suit them. They don’t take long to do but could literally have life-saving consequences." 

Codsall Station Manager Dez Stoddart

Station Manager Dez Stoddart will be joining Busy Minds, run in partnership with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, for its weekly meeting.

He will be highlighting the ‘Christmas Cuppa’ campaign which encourages people to visit older or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours to check on them.

In the time it takes to boil the kettle, smoke alarms can be tested, simple safety checks made and questions asked about wellbeing.

People attending the Busy Minds session who have not already had a free Home Fire Risk Check will be urged to book one as well as to refer anyone they know who they are concerned about.

Station Manager Stoddart said: "The people who attend Busy Minds are all very active but they may have friends who don’t get out much now and are more vulnerable. It is those people that can be at risk and we want to reach out to them by informing their friends and relatives of the potential warning signs. Those over the age of 80 are 10 times more likely to die in a fire than those aged 30 which is why this sort of prevention work is vital.

"Through our 'Christmas Cuppa' campaign we aim to make some of the most vulnerable members of our community safer in their homes. We are urging people who know someone who might need a bit of extra help to contact us and to book a free Home Fire Risk Check on their behalf. The person making the referral is welcome to be there when it is carried out and we will visit at a time to suit them. They don’t take long to do but could literally have life-saving consequences."

During the HFRC visits, crew members or trained technicians check every room in a property for potential fire hazards and speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home. Using this information, they try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire. They can also fit new smoke alarms.

Escape routes are discussed and planned out so that people know what to do should a fire break out. All members of staff carry an identity card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.

Busy Minds is full to capacity at the moment, having grown from eight members when it was launched in 2010 to more than 50 now.

Members go on regular outings, including to garden centres, shopping and on day trips to places like Llandudno, as well as playing skittles, dancing and doing craft sessions.

To book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp

To find out more about the ‘Christmas Cuppa’ campaign visit http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/1327.asp