Falkirk and West Lothian partnership working to save lives

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Firefighters in Falkirk and West Lothian working with NHS 24. #WeekofAction

Firefighters in Falkirk and West Lothian have got together with NHS 24’s ‘Living It Up’ project to produce a video promoting free home fire safety visits and smoke alarm fittings for over 50s.  Now following the launch of a Scottish Fire and Rescue (SFRS) nationwide ‘week of action’ aimed at preventing accidental house fires and the tragedies they cause, Living It Up and SFRS are launching the video nationally.

Home Fire Safety Visits in Your Home

How your local fire and rescue service can help you

Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, the SFRS director of prevention and protection, said: “The video made in partnership with Living it Up perfectly fits the week of action message.  We are combatting a rise in fire deaths.  Thirty people have lost their lives this year in Scotland.  Almost two-thirds of those killed were over 60.  Most or all of these could have been prevented.  As the video shows, home fire safety visits are easy to organise, and a few simple pieces of advice about your home and routines, or fitting smoke alarms, could save your life and ensure that over 50s are free to keep living it up.”

People over the age of 60 accounted for almost two-thirds of those killed by fire in 2015 and, as well as age, the common factors contributing to many of the deaths were smoking, ill-health, living alone and limited mobility.
ACO Ramsay added: “We know many fires where someone is killed or injured could be prevented and our crews are reaching out to anyone who could use our advice or support.

“If someone is over the age of 60, lives alone or has difficulty moving around then it can take more time for them to escape in an emergency.

“A huge amount of support is available but we need our partner agencies and the public to help us make sure it gets to those who need it.”

With an aging population – 23 per cent of the UK will be aged 65 and over by 2035 – helping older people prevent fires and stay safe is certain to remain an issue for every community.

Living it Up – a £10m digital health, care and wellbeing project – was launched by The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil when he visited The Peak sports complex in Stirling.

The project, which is being led by NHS 24, has enlisted local communities over a three year period to help in the design and development of ways in which local services can be delivered digitally. It provides tailored advice on improving and managing health, care and wellbeing. The unique technology matches an individual’s needs and interests with professional information, local services, and beneficial activities and events in their community.

Forth Valley Project Lead Ann Allison said: “Living it Up Forth Valley were pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to help raise awareness of the importance of home fire safety visits. Living it Up has a strong focus on working in partnership with a wide range of organisations and working closely with local people in their communities. By showing people what to expect we hope to encourage more people to make use of this valuable service and allay any potential fears individuals may have about booking a home visit.”

Living it Up is being developed at first in five areas – Forth Valley, Lothian, Moray, Highland/Argyll & Bute and the Western Isles. It is initially aimed at the over 50s but will also be of benefit to people living with long term conditions, care givers and those who just want to keep happy, healthy and safe.

ACO Ramsay said: “We all need to do what we can to protect not only ourselves but also those around us. By making this digital programme for the older and vulnerable community, we might help to prevent fires.
“It doesn’t take long for a local firefighter to show someone the common hazards that many people just don’t realise are in their home.

“Our crews help residents take very easy steps to address these risks and they also make sure the property has working smoke alarms and that everyone knows what to do if a fire does start.

“It’s a service that can make all the difference. I’d urge anyone who thinks they or someone they know could benefit from it to get in touch with us today – before another tragedy happens.”

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.

If you think an elderly relative or neighbour would benefit from a free Home Fire Safety Visit call SFRS on the freephone number 0800 0731 999, text “FIRE” to 80800 or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk

Living It Up is a digital self-management service for the over 50s designed to help you get more out of life and stay happier, healthier and safer. 

Visit www.livingitup.org.uk

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