GP’s help fire safety scheme in Ludlow

Dr Caron Morton, patient John Bowkett and temporary Crew Manager Dale Pound at the launch of the free home fire safety check for those most in need.

An innovative fire prevention scheme to encourage those "most in need" to have a free home safety check has been launched by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service in Ludlow.

Community Fire Safety Officers have linked up with Ludlow's largest medical practice in a pilot scheme to urge elderly and vulnerable people to have a home fire safety visit from Ludlow retained firefighters.

Doctors at the Station Drive surgery said they were pleased to be asociated with a scheme that further improves the health and wellbeing of their patients.

"We would encourage people to use this valuable service from our fire and rescue service," said Dr Caron Morton, a partner at the surgery, which is sending out letters to their elderly and vulnerable patients informing them of the initiative.

Firefighters carry out a thorough fire safety check - which every household should endeavour to do for themselves - to ensure among a range of checks that smoke alarms are fitted and working, electricity sockets are not overloaded and chip pans are used safely. These are just some of the many tips that firefighters inform householders to prevent a fire from happening in their home.

Community fire safety officer Delyth Humphreys said that raising fire safety awareness was of vital importance in reducing the number of fires and injuries in Shropshire homes.

"We know that the elderly and vulnerable are more at risk and that is why we want to support these people in better preparing themselves for some of the dangers that they face within their home.

“We want to thank the GP surgeries for helping us reach the people who really need our services most.

"But at the same time we would urge all householders to check our website link to ensure they have made the fire safety checks for their homes as well."

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service will no longer be able to offer free smoke alarms to all sections of the community due to budget cuts imposed on the service.

“We are now urging that the public build on the good work previously done by the service by taking ownership of their safety in the home and especially the maintenance of their smoke alarms,” said John Das Gupta, Head of Fire Prevention at the county brigade.

4th January, 2011