Around 18 percent of Mansfield residents aged 65 have recently signed up to a home safety check and a free smoke alarm thanks to a joint initiative led by Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The scheme was initially piloted in Ashfield last year where 11 percent of residents aged over 85 signed up.
The Council’s customer service centre has contacted service users in the relevant age groups and offer the free service to reduce their chances of a fire or an accident in their home.
The checks take approximately 45 minutes, during which time the firefighters complete a detailed checklist, advising residents on a range of safety issues including the risk of overloading plugs, trailing wires, smoking hazards and the importance of installing, and regular testing, of smoke alarms.
Around 800 residents were contacted overall in both districts and there are plans to continue the roll-out to other districts in the county.
Feedback from residents has been positive with 100 percent of those taking up the service stating that they would recommend it to others.
There were 207 house fires involving an elderly resident in Nottinghamshire in 2012/13 compared to 187 in 2011/12 and 193 in 2010/11.
Paul McKay, Service Director for Promoting Independence and Public Protection at the Council, said: “This age group is particularly vulnerable to the risk of fire and injuries in their home so we are looking to extend this scheme to the whole of the county following the success we have had in Mansfield and Ashfield.”
Chris Hooper, Engagement and Partnership Manager, at the Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Through the pilot scheme, we carried out over 110 Home Fire Safety Checks on vulnerable individuals in the Ashfield and Mansfield district. We will continue to improve and hone the process as we continue with our roll-out programme.
“This is a major step forward for us and is enabling us to quickly and efficiently identify and assist people that we consider most at risk of fire.”
People over the age of 85 wanting a free home fire safety check should contact the Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 022 3235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A free tool to assist older people to test their smoke alarms without the need for standing on chairs or climbing ladders are available free of charge from the Council by calling 0115 977 4676 or calling the Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 022 3235.