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Kent hairdressers and barbers boost community safety

Kent hairdressers and barbers boost community safety

1 February 2016

Hairdressers and barbers across Kent and Mwedway look set to help improve the lives of their local communities as over 100 hair businesses have so far signed up to work with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS). It’s all part of the organisation’s ‘Haircare Network’ - which aims to keep people safe from the risk of fire in their homes.

Hairdressers, barbers and mobile stylists will be offering their clients a little extra care with their hair-do, by encouraging them to register for a free ‘Safe and Well Visit’ from KFRS. During the visit, KFRS will offer free advice tailored directly to the client’s needs and where appropriate fit free smoke alarms in their home. They can also provide information about obtaining additional support and services from other agencies.

One of those businesses to register is Bev and Sue Hair Stylists in Essella Road, Ashford, and Sue James, who co-owns the salon explains why her salon is teaming up with the fire service: “Hair professionals are perfectly placed to identify those clients who may need a little extra help and advice. We spend a lot of our working hours talking to people of all ages across our community, from the elderly to parents with young children.

She added: “Clients often open up about the challenges they face in their day-to day lives, and hairdressers have the ideal opportunity to look out for those that may benefit from some free help from KFRS.”

People who are eligible for a free ‘Safe and Well Visit include those who:

  • smoke

  • are over 70 years old

  • have a child under the age of 5 living with them

  • live with five or more people in one property

  • have mobility, eyesight, hearing or memory impairment

  • access mental health services

  • feel unsafe in their home 

KFRS will also be offering hair professionals the chance to attend dementia awareness training to further enhance their knowledge of the condition, which may assist them in working with some of their clients who are living with dementia and to help identify whether they may also need some extra, specialist help from KFRS.

Community Safety Manager Charlie Smith said: “We are delighted to see so many hairdressers and barbers across the county sign up to work with us to help reach people within our communities who are most in need of our services. It is hoped that our Haircare Network can support our already well established local knowledge of those who need support. By recommending our services, those involved will be making a huge contribution to keeping their communities even safer.”

The 100 salons, barbers and mobile stylists will begin talking to their clients from this month and have begun receiving their Haircare Network packs, which includes an official KFRS accredited certificate and simple Safe and Well Visit request forms for their clients to complete, as well as information to take away.

Charlie added: “If other hair professionals would like to join the Haircare Network they can register online at www.kent.fire-uk.org/hair or call 0800 923 700 and speak to our home safety team.”

 

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