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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service’s Christmas wish: Don't let this Christmas be the SAME

20/12/2017

Fire Death Factors
Fire death factors

As families come together to celebrate the holidays Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is wishing residents a Christmas free from fire in their homes.

“Tragically, on Boxing Day last year, a woman lost her life. We never want to see any family go through the pain of losing someone this way, but at Christmas time it is all the more awful and our message is simple, don’t let this year be the SAME. There are many things you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe, but be aware that if any of the SAME factors apply to you or your loved ones there is an increased risk to life."

Director of Prevent and protect Glynn Luznyj

Last Boxing Day (December 26 2016) saw firefighters respond to an incident at a home that resulted in the death of a woman. Sadly, the fire was caused by smoking materials, one of the most common causes of accidental fire deaths and the first factor featured in the Service’s SAME campaign. The campaign, which was launched in Spring 2017, uses the acronym SAME to help residents remember that smoking, alcohol, mobility and being elderly all increase the risk of dying in a house fire.

Firefighters don’t want any family suffering the SAME way this Christmas and they are asking everyone to be mindful of fire safety this year.

Director of Prevent and protect Glynn Luznyj said: “Whenever firefighters are called to a house fire with people reported inside they never know what they will find.

“Tragically, on Boxing Day last year, a woman lost her life. We never want to see any family go through the pain of losing someone this way, but at Christmas time it is all the more awful and our message is simple, don’t let this year be the SAME. There are many things you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe, but be aware that if any of the SAME factors apply to you or your loved ones there is an increased risk to life.

“Please visit our website for information on how to stay safe in your home.”

The SAME campaign was based on 10 years of research which has shown that cigarettes/cigars and lighters have been the biggest cause of fires in which people have died, with 41 per cent of those who died being smokers.

Of those who died 39 per cent were regular drinkers and in a number of cases alcohol was a contributing factor as to why the fire started – often with people being intoxicated and then falling asleep whilst smoking or cooking food.

Of the 56 deaths, 50 per cent had mobility issues and a massive 73 per cent of those who have died in a fire were 65-years-old or over – both factors put people at increased risk as they often find it harder to safely escape should a fire occur in their home.

Further information and advice is available from the Service’s Community Advice Team who can be contacted during office hours on 0800 0241 999. Please note they will be closed over the Christmas period, from 5pm on Friday December 22 until 8am on Tuesday January 2.