Residents have just days left to enter a ‘selfie’ competition showing them sharing a ‘Christmas Cuppa’ with an older friend, relative or neighbour.
"With a growing population of older people it is more vital than ever that we look after the most vulnerable members of our communities. The aim of the ‘Christmas Cuppa’ campaign is to highlight the fact that testing a smoke alarm, checking that sockets are not overloaded or ensuring that clothes are not hung in places where they could catch fire, takes the same time as for a kettle to boil."
Head of Risk Reduction Jim Bywater
Everyone who sends in a photograph will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of scooping an afternoon tea for two at The Swan in Stafford.
Entrants can visit the Service’s Facebook page and post their picture using the hashtag #XmasCuppa.
People are also being encouraged to publically commit to spending time with an older or vulnerable person by searching ‘Staffs Fire Pledge’ and posting a message. The pledge page has attracted nearly 1,100 ‘likes’ so far.
Both the pledge and the competition are part of a campaign launched earlier this month to encourage residents to help keep older people safe by checking on their wellbeing.
In the time it takes to boil the kettle, smoke alarms can be tested, simple safety checks made and questions about wellbeing asked.
Head of Risk Reduction Jim Bywater said: "With a growing population of older people it is more vital than ever that we look after the most vulnerable members of our communities. The aim of the ‘Christmas Cuppa’ campaign is to highlight the fact that testing a smoke alarm, checking that sockets are not overloaded or ensuring that clothes are not hung in places where they could catch fire, takes the same time as for a kettle to boil.
"These are simple steps to carry out but the impact can be life-saving. And, with statistics showing that those over the age of 80 are 10 times more likely to die in a fire than those aged 30, it has never been more important to take the time out to make sure a vulnerable person is safe and well."
People are being encouraged to call 0800 0241 999 to book a free Home Fire Risk Check (HFRC) if they know some who is older or vulnerable and could benefit from a visit by the Service.
During a HFRC, firefighters or trained technicians check every room in a resident’s home and look for potential fire hazards. They also speak to people about their everyday behaviour in the home and, using this information, try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.
Escape routes are discussed and planned out so that people know what to do should a fire break out and free smoke alarms can be fitted if necessary. All members of staff carry an identity card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is available to everyone.
Residents can also sign up to receive a weekly email to remind them to test their smoke detectors. Simply input your email address into the following webpage - http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/pushthebutton.asp - and you will automatically be sent a message.