A life-saving Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service initiative has been revitalised to boost the county's elderly and vulnerable.
The organisation’s free Home Fire Risk Check (HFRC) scheme is being relaunched to make sure people receive the fire safety support they need. In June 2008 the Service launched its 0800 team to field calls on matters of home fire safety and take bookings for HFRCs. To date the team has arranged more than 25,000 free checks at homes across Staffordshire.
"The public will be in no doubt that our life saving service is totally free of charge and one telephone call is all that is required."
Steve Leech, Rick Reduction Officer
The rebranded initiative, which launched yesterday, will see freshly designed vouchers replace the scheme's original postcards while a fleet of 13 new vehicles will travel the county emblazoned with stand-out newly designed HFRC artwork and contact details.
It is hoped such pro-active campaigning will encourage more people to book free Home Fire Risk Checks for themselves and for loved ones.
The rebrand supports the Service's Young at Heart, Safe at Home campaign, launched last October to raise awareness of fire safety among the elderly and those who care for them. The campaign is driven by statistics which reveal 89 per cent (17) of the 19 fire deaths suffered in Staffordshire since 2008 have involved people aged 65 and over.
Risk Reduction Officer, Steve Leech, said: "The new design was created in consultation with the community and our smoke alarm providers FireAngel. I feel it is clear and to the point.
"The public will be in no doubt that our life saving service is totally free of charge and one telephone call is all that is required. "
"Unfortunately many older people in the community don't know we are here and how we can help them. Our new look campaign targets the over 65s and we needed to find a way to get our message out to them in an attractive, clear and interesting way. The new vouchers are more eye catching. They carry the relevant information and instructions for people to book a free Home Fire Risk Check."
CEO of FireAngel, Graham Whitworth added: "FireAngel feels enormously proud to be working closely with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. By supplying both smoke alarms and design solutions to this scheme we have gained a great deal of pride in helping to protect residents from fire in the Staffordshire area."
The new look vans, carrying the Service’s new 0800 branding, will travel around Staffordshire with drivers visiting hard-to-reach communities to speak to people about fire safety. The technicians driving the vans all carry the vouchers with them at all times.
"Please ask for one for yourself, friends, family and neighbours of vulnerable and elderly people," added Steve.
"The Technicians working in the community are very much the agents for this project. We will visit your home and fit smoke alarms or check your existing alarms and replace them if necessary. Our service is guaranteed free and confidential, a life saving service which is arranged at your convenience."
The FREEPHONE number to ring to request a Home Fire Risk Check is 0800 0241 999. Callers can arrange a mutually convenient time for the visit to take place. All firefighters and service technicians carry an I.D card and travel in Service vehicles.
Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.