Make sure the vulnerable are safe this Christmas

Fire safety checks are being offered to senior citizens in the lead up to Christmas
Fire safety checks are being offered to senior citizens in the lead up to Christmas

Firefighters, supported by Midlothian Council, are asking your help to keep older people safe from fire this winter.

Winter is traditionally the peak time of year when lives are lost in house fires and people over the age of 60 are the most vulnerable group.

Family, friends and neighbours can help us by arranging a Home Fire Safety Visit for older people they know.

David Farries, area manager, SFRS local senior officer for East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, said: “Over the last few years two thirds of people killed by fire have been people over the age of 60.

“We know that winter sees a peak in house fires, we know that older people are at risk and we need the community’s help to stop those fires claiming lives.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ran a major campaign over Older People Week of Action with adverts on TV, radio and newspapers.

Councillor Kelly Parry, cabinet member for community safety, added: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service offers FREE Home Fire Safety Visits to everyone who feels they need one.

“They’ll come to your home, provide fire safety advice, fit smoke alarms if needed and provide some reassurance. But they can only do this if people get in contact.

“If you’re over 60 and haven’t been visited yet, get in touch. Or if you know an older person, it could be a relative, a friend, a neighbour, please tell them about the service. Offer to call up for them.

“This is where the Fire Service really needs the community’s help. They can prevent older people dying in fires and their best chance of doing that is by visiting you in your home now.”

Firefighters are asking everyone to take action. Speak to your neighbour, give your friend a phone or visit your granny or grandad. Make sure they get a Home Fire Safety Visit and that they have the best chance possible to avoid the devastating effects of fire.

Free home fire safety visits take around 20 minutes to complete and are conducted by local SFRS crews at a time convenient for the householder.

A popular feature of the Join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire campaign, they are available by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.