Seniors Together in support of week of action

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South Lanarkshire partnership takes potentially life-saving message fire safety message to older people.

Seniors Together

South Lanarkshire firefighters have teamed up with ‘Seniors Together’ to ensure every one of the group’s 300 members is offered a free Home Fire Safety Visit. 

The project, which is run by South Lanarkshire Council, aims to improve the lives of older people and the partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) comes as crews engage in a week of action to prevent tragedies.

Group Manager Graeme Binning, the SFRS head of prevention and protection for South Lanarkshire, said: “This week of action is a real opportunity to re-visit existing partnerships and forge new ones.

“Seniors Together run a range of great activities to help their members remain healthy, active and safe, so it’s clear we share the same goals.

“We are engaging with our local communities to let everyone know the role we can play in keeping people safe in their homes.”

He continued: “Factors like living alone, having health conditions or finding it difficult to move around make many older people more vulnerable to fire, but by offering a little support and reassurance we can help them be safe and feel safe.

“During this week of action our crews have been working to provide free home fire safety visits and arrange for people to get them in the days and weeks ahead.

“We want everyone who could benefit from this great service to get in touch with us. It really could save lives.”

People over the age of 60 have accounted for almost two-thirds of those killed in fires in Scotland this year and statistics show those aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely to die in a fire as others.

Christine Calder, the manager of Seniors Together, added: “We are delighted to support the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s campaign to promote fire safety for older people.

“During the week of action we will be promoting home fire safety visits among our members and will also be encouraging them to promote the visits to their friends and neighbours too.

“We know from our Partnership work with the fire service that in particular older women are vulnerable to fire accidents at home and we want to work with them to eradicate this.’’

Early warning is crucial to people escaping fires and when SFRS crews visit households they check to ensure smoke alarms are placed where they will be effective. The firefighters even provide and install free smoke alarms where these are needed.

Smoking in bed or while tired and sitting in a chair are known causes of many fire tragedies and SFRS has appealed for people to understand the danger and choose not to put themselves at such risk.

If someone is simply unable to stop doing so then firefighters can work with them to find solutions to lower the chance of a fire starting.

Most house fires begin in the kitchen and the advice from SFRS is never to step away from the cooker without first removing all pots and pans from the heat and making sure the hob and grill are switched off.

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

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.

South Lanarkshire residents can find out more about Seniors Together by calling its office on 01698 454 104 or emailing christine.calder@southlanarkshire.gcsx.gov.uk.

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