A campaign to educate members of the Telford Muslim community about fire safety in the home has been a "tremendous success," say fire officers.
Muhammad Sajid Younis, a multi lingual advocate from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, gained approval for the education scheme from community leaders after visiting Telford Central Mosque in Tan Bank and the Regent Street mosque in Wellington. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond also spoke at the mosques.
Muhammad has so far knocked on 600 doors, talked to more than 1,000 householders and fitted 700 smoke alarms. A total of 900 fire safety brochures and leaflets have been distributed.
The programme, which has been directed at all members of the Wellington community, was hailed a "tremendous success" by Community Fire Safety Team Leader Rabinder Singh Dhami.
"First we visited the mosques to give fire safety advice and then followed up by knocking on all doors in the community. Everyone knew who Muhammad was and welcomed him into their homes. People from all parts of the community have listened to our fire safety advice.
In a letter thanking the fire service for the visits, pensioner Mr Vale Moore, of Regent Street said: "You will have to go a long way to find a better ambassador for the fire service. Muhammad has great enthusiasm for the job that he does."
Rabinder added: "We have also got over messages to the business community giving them information in Urdu about the regulations they have to meet under the Regulatory Reform Order in the workplace."
A geography teacher from Islamabad, Muhammad is now living in Wellington and was hired part-time by the fire service to boost community fire safety in the area.
"There is a language problem but we have overcome that and everyone in the community has been very welcoming," said Muhammud.
For a free home fire safety check and a ten year smoke alarm contact Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service on a dedicated phone line 01743 260 298 or write via Freepost to:
Community Fire Safety Department
St Michael's Street
Shrewsbury SY1 2HJ
The fire safety campaign was first launched five years ago in other areas of Telford. It involves fitting smoke alarms with a ten year battery to the ceiling of each floor to alert residents to a break out of fire, often at night, enabling them to escape unharmed.
Residents are also told about the need to have an escape plan, put out cigarettes and candles carefully, check electrics and take care with cooking.
Firefighters have visited thousand of homes across Shropshire to get across the essential fire safety messages which have seen incidents of fire deaths and injuries fall dramatically throughout the county.