Fire service helping Fifers to stay safe on the home front

Una Goodwin, Steven Michie, Mary Wilson and Graham Barclay conduct the Home & Fire Safety Visit to make sure Mary's house in Kennoway is safe and secure. Pictures by Steven Brown Photography.
Una Goodwin, Steven Michie, Mary Wilson and Graham Barclay conduct the Home & Fire Safety Visit to make sure Mary's house in Kennoway is safe and secure. Pictures by Steven Brown Photography.
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Quite the opposite of keeping the home fires burning, Fife firefighters have being making the rounds to ensure homes are fire free.

A new service which delivers fire prevention and safety advice to people in their own homes, particularly those most vulnerable, has been operating with the help of the council’s Fife Cares service, a branch of Fife Community Safety Partnership.

Fire Safety visit and Graham Barclay is fitting a new smoke detector in the kitchen of Mary Wilson from Kennoway

Fire Safety visit and Graham Barclay is fitting a new smoke detector in the kitchen of Mary Wilson from Kennoway

Combining their resources, firefighters from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Fife Cares have swapped training tips to enable them to deliver home safety advice targeted to Fife’s increasingly aged population.

Following a visit from the team to her Kennoway home Mary Wilson said: “It was a very informal visit by pleasant knowledgeable staff.

‘‘The pieces of equipment and advice supplied will be invaluable in keeping me safe in my own home.”

The visit comes as figures showed how important safety around the home can be - especially for the elderly.

Una Goodwin shows Mary how to use the plug adaptor strap to safely remove the plug from the wall using the tool

Una Goodwin shows Mary how to use the plug adaptor strap to safely remove the plug from the wall using the tool

Steven Michie, SFRS station manager for prevention and protection explained: “Whilst 29 people in Fife required hospital attention during 2013-2014 for fire related accidents and injuries in the home, this figure is overshadowed by well over 1000 elderly residents who required hospital attention for unintentional injury in the home.”

Spearheading the campaign to tackle these figures, SFRS in Fife has coordinated a prevention and early intervention approach which has been a proven success in reducing accidental fires and fire related injuries in Fifes homes.

“We have contributed to reducing home accidents by expanding the traditional home fire safety visit to include key home safety advice, guidance and equipment provision,” explained Steven.

The partnership ensures where possible, only one visit is needed by either a Fife Cares member of staff or a local firefighter who can both deliver the same advice and guidance.

Service manager for Safer Communities, Mark McCall said: “This joint initiative between Fife Council’s Home Safety Team and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ensures that clients are given an enhanced quality of service.

“Through sharing our resources, more home visits can be undertaken and our overall aim of increasing safety within our communities can be achieved.”

To arrange a visit contact your local fire station, complete an online form by visiting firescotland.gov.uk or telephone Fife Cares on 01383 441177.

SAFETY TIPS

Check stairs are well-lit, free from clutter and carefully maintained with sturdy banisters.

Test smoke alarms at least once a week.

Regularly check electric blankets.

Be aware of the dangers of exceeding prescribed drug doses - use a pill dispenser.

Have fuel burning devices regularly serviced by a qualified Gas Care engineer.

Use coiled kettle flexes or a cordless kettle where possible.

Reduce risk of hypothermia by wearing several layers of clothing, moving about and eating regularly.

Safety in the bathroom - make sure bath mats are effectively secured.

Do not use adaptors plugged into other adaptors and do not overload sockets.

Security - leave a light on or use a security timer if you are going out at night. Do not leave keys in locks or the door chain on overnight.