Householders who are elderly or vulnerable through ill health must be given the chance to get important and potentially lifesaving fire safety advice, warned Shropshire’s fire prevention chief.
John Das Gupta is urging family, friends and neighbours to contact the community fire safety department at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to get help for their relatives and friends.
“It’s just one phone call and it could save a life,” he said after the sixth death in a house fire in Shropshire since April this year – the worst death toll statistic in more than a decade for accidental house fires in the county.
“We know that fire discriminates and some people are more likely to succumb. Those with mobility issues, the elderly, and those who live alone are more likely to suffer a house fire.”
People with less money to spend on household expenses were also more likely to use more unsafe methods to heat their homes huddling closer to electricity bar heaters with the higher chance of clothes and blankets catching fire, he warned.
With the forecast of a harsh winter ahead, he is urging people to contact Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service for fire safety advice.
“If you feel anyone near you may be at risk please do not hesitate to call us on 01743 260260 and we will come and make a free home visit to point out areas where fire prevention action is necessary.”
A total of 65 per cent of house fires start in the kitchen caused by overheated oil or fat in chip pans, deep fat fryers or grill pans.
Don’t overload electric plug sockets, ensure electric blankets are checked annually and have an escape route if fire does break out.
Fire prevention officers say don’t be tempted to have a fry up after drinking alcohol, make sure you have working smoke alarms on each floor of the home and test them weekly, don’t ever take any risks by tackling a fire and if fire does break out, get out, stay out and dial 999.