09 October 2023
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has revealed that 7 of the 10 people who tragically lost their lives in accidental house fires in 2022 were known to other agencies.
The stark statistic has prompted a redoubling of efforts. NIFRS is reaching out to those working in the community, voluntary and statutory sectors to provide them with additional support to help keep people safe from fire in their home.
The collaborative action is part of North South Fire Safety Week 2023, which begins today (9 October 2023). Organised in partnership with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management in the Republic of Ireland, the goal of Fire Safety Week is to promote fire safety in the home and to help prevent fires in the home.
Aidan Jennings, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, explains:
“Our partner agencies and caring professionals are the “eyes and ears” for us in the community. They work incredibly hard and play an invaluable part in helping NIFRS keep those most at risk in our community safe from fire.
“This Fire Safety Week we are reconnecting with all our partners to explore what additional support we can offer them to help be fire aware. We are also asking others who work closely with those most at risk in our community to consider becoming one of our partners.
“There is real value in understanding how to deal with risky behaviours around smoking, cooking, electrical safety and having a clear fire escape plan whilst also ensuring the person at risk can live comfortably at home. We want to deliver the best support we can to our partners and our community by providing help and guidance to keep people safe.
“If you have any concerns in relation to a clear fire escape route, a working smoke alarm or other dangers in the home, please do not hesitate to contact us. We rely on people’s support network to refer their client, family member, friend or older neighbour for a Free Home Fire Safety Check via our website. I strongly encourage those who are eligible to avail of this service this winter.
“Fire prevention is at the heart of what we do at NIFRS. The support of our partners and our community is vital in our work to STOP Fire this Fire Safety Week and beyond.”
Keith Leonard, National Director for Fire and Emergency Management, Ireland said:
“Enhancing engagement with citizens is at the forefront of our public services at both local and national level.
“Fire Authorities work with many community organisations. We are continuing our efforts to engage with these partners and calling on other groups to engage with us so that we can help the more vulnerable in our community. “Fire Authorities are no strangers to citizen engagement, but there is always scope to explore new ways of working to enhance existing processes, keeping our communities safe.”