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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Interactive event aims to improve fire safety

26/03/2015

The Fire Stars group at Hanley
The Fire Stars group at Hanley

An interactive display which depicts potential safety hazards will be set up at Hanley Community Fire Station as part of a specialist training event.

"Fire Stars has proven to be very successful in conveying our fire safety messages in a way that is easy for people to understand. The presentation uses lots of images and the interactive session helps to bring the situation to life for the group, so it has a really powerful impact." 

Jim Taaffe - Community Safety Officer

The Fire Stars initiative has been designed to protect adults with learning difficulties and help them to stay safe at home.

Around 30 people from the Leek and Staffordshire Moorlands branch of ‘Shared Lives’ will attend the event on March 31. Shared Lives matches vulnerable adults with carers, who support them in the community, for long-term placements, short breaks and individual days.

Scenes will be set up featuring potentially risky situations - such as leaving unattended pans on the cooker - and the group will be asked to identify the hazard and explain why it could be dangerous.

Community Safety Officers will also give a talk on fire safety in the home which will explain the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted.

They will encourage the group to make sure that doors are closed to reduce the chance of a fire spreading. The CSOs will also explain that electrical items such as televisions should be switched off before people go to bed and that everyone should have an escape route planned in case of an emergency.

During the event, the participants will be able to meet the firefighters as well as being taken on a tour of the community fire station.

At the end of the session, the visitors will be awarded a certificate to officially make them ‘Fire Stars’.

Jim Taaffe, Community Safety Officer, said: "Fire Stars has proven to be very successful in conveying our fire safety messages in a way that is easy for people to understand. The presentation uses lots of images and the interactive session helps to bring the situation to life for the group, so it has a really powerful impact.

"We will be encouraging the participants to pass on what they have learnt about night time routines, planning an escape route and the important role that smoke alarms play in saving lives – that’s what makes them ‘Fire Stars’. We strongly believe that taking different approaches to different groups of people is vital to helping to keep the people of Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent safe in their homes."

Amanda Harris, Shared Lives Project Coordinator, added: "Our service users are really looking forward to visiting the community fire station, meeting the firefighters and learning about safety in the home. It is great that the Service is tailoring its presentation to the needs of our group and, thanks to the way the messages are being delivered, I am sure that it will have a big effect on the group and will be an experience that they will never forget."