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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Winter lifeline launched

24/12/2012

A new telephone lifeline has been launched to help elderly and vulnerable residents stay healthy and warm this winter.

“This new initiative complements our Older Persons Campaign which aims to raise fire safety awareness among older residents, their carers and families. The Home Fire Risk Check is free of charge and involves firefighters or a service technician visiting a person’s home to advise on fire safety and fit a smoke alarm, or to check it is working properly.”

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

Stafford Borough Council has teamed up with The Community Council of Staffordshire and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to set up a ‘one stop shop’ telephone service. The number is 01785 242525.

The service will provide advice on how best to keep warm during the cold weather, help finding cheaper fuel prices, advice on claiming benefits and in some cases emergency heating repairs and home energy improvements.

It is one of a range of initiatives the borough council is involved in to help vulnerable residents over the winter period. For example it has recently joined forces with local charity ‘House of Bread’ to help deliver food parcels to those struggling to get to shops in freezing weather.
Last winter 200 people died each day in England and Wales as a result of being too cold with the authority saying many deaths are preventable by following simple advice. And with a severe cold spell predicted the borough council is warning people to be prepared.
Freezing temperatures can cause underlying health problems to become much worse and the borough council say to keep warm and healthy, sitting rooms should be a minimum of 21C and bedrooms 18C.

Carmel Warren, Prevention Manager for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are working with Stafford Borough Council to help our most vulnerable residents who may be in need of emergency heating or food over the winter period. People calling the lifeline number 01785 242525 will be signposted to the fire service and the opportunity for a free Home Fire Risk Check. If any resident is in need of an emergency heater, blankets or a food pack, a crew will deliver these when they carry out the check.”

She added that over the holiday period Fire Control would be handling calls to the lifeline to ensure there was no interruption to the service and vulnerable people got the help they needed.

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj added: “This new initiative complements our Older Persons Campaign which aims to raise fire safety awareness among older residents, their carers and families. The Home Fire Risk Check is free of charge and involves firefighters or a service technician visiting a person’s home to advise on fire safety and fit a smoke alarm, or to check it is working properly.”

People living in Stafford Borough who are finding it difficult to keep their home warm should call 01785 242525. The Community Council will then help go through services callers may benefit from.