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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service launches new campaign on fire death factors

21/03/2017

Fire Death Factors
Same campaign

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched a campaign highlighting the factors most likely to increase your risk of dying in an accidental fire.

“Preventing incidents which may lead to people unnecessarily dying in a fire is one of our most important priorities. One fire death is one too many in the eyes of the Service and we really want to raise awareness in the community that the SAME factors increase the likelihood of dying in a fire. Even if none of these factors apply to you, they may be relevant to someone you know; a family member, a friend or a neighbour, so it is paramount that we get these messages across."

Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant

The SAME campaign is based on 10 years of evidence which show that one or more of the following factors greatly increase your risk of dying in a fire; being a smoker, drinking alcohol, having poor mobility and/or being elderly. The campaign uses the acronym SAME to make it easy for people to remember the four factors: smoking, alcohol, mobility, elderly.

Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “In ten years we’ve had 56 people in our county die in accidental fires. We’ve collected evidence on each and every one of those fires and we know that the same factors are recurring – smoking, alcohol, poor mobility and being elderly.

“Preventing incidents which may lead to people unnecessarily dying in a fire is one of our most important priorities. One fire death is one too many in the eyes of the Service and we really want to raise awareness in the community that the SAME factors increase the likelihood of dying in a fire. Even if none of these factors apply to you, they may be relevant to someone you know; a family member, a friend or a neighbour, so it is paramount that we get these messages across.

“We’re encouraging people to dispose of smoking materials properly, avoid cooking or smoking in bed/on the sofa when drunk. All people with poor mobility and those aged over 65 we’d urge to contact our Community Advice Team as you may need to receive a Safe and Well visit from us, so we can ensure you are as safe as possible from a fire in your home.”

In the last 10 years research has shown that cigarettes/cigars and lighters have been the biggest cause of fires in which people have died, with 41 per cent of those who died being smokers.

Of those who died 39 per cent were regular drinkers and in a number of cases alcohol was a contributing factor as to why the fire started – often with people being intoxicated and then falling asleep whilst smoking or cooking food.

Of the 56 deaths, 50 per cent had mobility issues and a massive 73 per cent of those who have died in a fire were 65-years-old or over – both factors put people at increased risk as they often find it harder to safely escape should a fire occur in their home.

The Service will be promoting the campaign to communities and also organisations whose staff go into people’s homes, such as carers, so they can identify those who may be at greater risk.

For more advice visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or contact the Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999.