This week is ‘M for Mobility’ in Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s SAME Again campaign.
In the event of a fire it’s important to be able to get out and stay out. A person with reduced mobility is at increased risk of being overcome by smoke if they can’t get out quickly. The figures speak for themselves. Of the 56 deaths we had in a ten –year period, 50 per cent had mobility issues.
An emotional video outlining the difficulties people with mobility issues might experience has been released to support the Service’s call for residents to keep an eye on friends, family and neighbours who may be affected by the four fatal fire factors of Smoking, Alcohol, Mobility and Elderly.
Impaired mobility can make escaping from a fire difficult as was the case in a recent house fire in Stone. An elderly woman was taken to hospital following a serious fire at her home on Tuesday, November 27.
The fire is believed to have started when burning coal fell on to a rug in the living room. Firefighters believe the elderly resident went to the kitchen to escape but fell and was unable to get up.
Director of Prevent and Protect Glynn Luznyj said: “In the event of a fire it’s important to be able to get out and stay out. A person with reduced mobility is at increased risk of being overcome by smoke if they can’t get out quickly. The figures speak for themselves. Of the 56 deaths we had in a ten –year period, 50 per cent had mobility issues.
“Fortunately in this fire in Stone we had previously installed smoke alarms into the property so the neighbours heard them going off along with the lady’s cry for help. The lady’s mobility appears to have declined in recent months which contributed to her not being able to get out on her own. This appears to be a very close knit community and she receives a great deal of support from other residents.
“Members of the community check in on this lady regularly and this is exactly what we encourage people to do as well as to be aware that anyone who is affected by the four fatal fire factors, smoking, alcohol, mobility and elderly, are more vulnerable.
“A quick call in on someone to make sure there aren’t any items that might trip them up or get in their way if they do need to get out could go a long way towards helping to keep them safe. And generally keeping an eye on them as these neighbours in Stone did for this lady can be a lifeline to some people.”
Fore more information on the SAME campaign visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/your-safety/campaigns/fire-death-factors/ and for further home safety advice visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/your-safety/safety-at-home/. Alternatively call out Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999.