FIREFIGHTERS will visit more than 400 homes and properties across St Helens this week in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of working smoke alarms.
Home Safety Week which is a national campaign will see a range of activities including school visits.
There will be presentations to pupils at St Julies Catholic Primary, Rivington Primary and Cowley International College.
Fire crews will also hold a coffee morning at Sheringham Close Sheltered Accommodation in Parr as well as a talk for Leonard Cheshire Disability’s St Helens Supported Living Service tomorrow (Tuesday, March 25).
They will also carry out home fire safety campaigns throughout Newton-le-Willows and Eccleston.
St Helens fire chief Chris Case explained: “We see each month the impact working smoke alarms can have in your home.
“A working smoke alarm is a vital piece of life saving equipment. It can give people the vital seconds they need to escape a fire.
“You are four times more likely to die in a house fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm. We work in the community throughout the year highlighting key safety messages and this week will see our work focus again on some of the most vulnerable and those most at risk of experiencing a fire.
“From a scout group to schools and Derbyshire Hill Youth Club our staff will highlight our safety advice to help make communities safer.
“As the clocks go forward on Sunday (March 30), we are also urging people to test their smoke alarm in their home.
“We advise people to have a working smoke alarm on each level of their home and to test them each week.”
Firefighters are also promoting carbon monoxide alarms and the importance of having gas appliances checked by a registered engineer each year.
Chris Case added: “All of our frontline fire appliances have equipment that can detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in buildings and properties we attend.”
Sara Garside district fire prevention manager for St Helens added: “We are also urging people to check on elderly neighbours, friends and relatives in their area who need smoke detectors. You can request a home fire safety check by calling 0800 731 5958.”
The public, politicians and councils are being urged to support the introduction of regulations for private landlords to provide working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in all rented accommodation.
There are also calls to introduce legislation to ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted in all private rented accommodation.
A consultation is now underway by the Department for Communities and Local Government titled ‘Review of Property Conditions in the Private Sector’.
The deputy chief fire officer for Merseyside Phil Garrigan explained: “The private rented sector is the fastest growing housing sector in the country with over four million households. Often those in private rented property are amongst the most vulnerable members of society including elderly residents, lone tenants, those with a disability or who have difficulty with mobility or with dependency issues. Introducing a requirement for landlords to install smoke alarms in their properties will provide additional protection from those who are most at risk from fire. This simple provision can cost as little as £5 per year for both alarms.
“We are urging people, politicians and councils across Merseyside respond to the consultation and support the introduction of regulation to ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted in all private rented accommodation by emailing PRSReview@communities.gsi.gov.uk before March 28 this year.”