Firefighters are asking for help to keep older people safe from fire this winter.

All this week we are asking people to talk to family members, friends and neighbours and arrange a FREE Home Fire Safety Visit from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

More lives are lost to house fires in winter than any other time of the year and people over the age of 60 are most at risk. Over the last few years two thirds of people killed by fire have been people over the age of 60.

By sending community firefighters to households, SFRS hopes residents will benefit from the advice and support available to keep their homes and everyone in them safe.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown said: “We all need to do what we can to protect not only ourselves but also those around us.

“When responsible citizens put vulnerable people in touch with us it can make all the difference and I’d appeal for everyone to consider if they know someone who is potentially vulnerable and could benefit from our support.

“We’ll come to your home, provide fire safety advice, fit smoke alarms if needed and provide some reassurance. But we can only do this if people get in contact with us.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be running a major campaign over ‘Older People Week of Action’, which starts on Monday, 15 November, with adverts on TV, radio and newspapers.

We’ll also be using our social media channels to engage with young people and ask for their help to keep their parents and grandparents safe over the winter months.

ACO McGown added: “We know many fires where someone is killed or injured could be prevented and our crews are reaching out to anyone who could use our advice or support.

“Many people have contacted us for a free Home Fire Safety Visit and these have been hugely popular, but the people who are at highest risk are often the most reluctant to contact us.”

Free home fire safety visits take around 20 minutes to complete and are conducted by local SFRS crews at a time convenient for the householder.
Firefighters will check and install fire alarms and give residents advice on how to evacuate in case of emergency.

A popular feature of the Join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire campaign, they are available by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.