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Home > News > News release archive > News releases 2016 > November 2016 > Firefighters give Margate residents an early festive gift of safety
Firefighters give Margate residents an early festive gift of safety

Firefighters give Margate residents an early festive gift of safety

Helping our communities stay safe and well this winter.jpg
Margate crews helping Brian from Palm Bay stay safe and well this winter

11 November 2016

The darker nights and mornings have arrived, as has the colder weather, so in the hope of trying to keep Margate residents safe and well, firefighters have been out and about giving essential advice ahead of the winter.

The crews from Margate spent the day (Friday 11 November) in Palm Bay, with the aim of helping to ensure the area’s most vulnerable residents are supported in staying safe at home this winter. The crews were offering potentially lifesaving advice to the key target groups such as young families, elderly residents and people with disabilities and long-term medical illnesses. Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s (KFRS) Community Safety team were also there to support the day and signed people up for a free home safety visit by KFRS.

KFRS Community Safety Manager, Charlie Smith said: “By getting into the community like this, we have an even greater chance of reaching people who need our services the most. It’s something most of us never expect to happen in our homes, but sadly fires can and do happen. We’re asking people to think about those people who might benefit from extra support like their elderly mum, a young parent with a baby or a neighbour with mobility issues. They could be safer after a visit from one of our specially trained advisors.”

Helping our communities stay safe and well this winter.jpg
Margate crews helping Patricia from Palm Bay stay safe and well this winter

Older people are statistically proven to be more at risk of fire during the winter months and are more likely to succumb to ailments as a result of the colder weather. Every year KFRS carries out 11,000 home safety visits. As part of the visit the home safety team member will assess each home and offer advice on how to make it safer; where appropriate they will fit smoke alarms.

The visits focus on three key areas:

  • Identifying and make the occupants aware of the potential fire risks within the home.        

  • Explain how they can reduce or prevent these risks.

  • Put together an escape plan in case a fire does break out and ensure they have working smoke alarms.    

The home fire safety visit is usually for people regarded as having a higher risk of fire in the home, such as:

  • People living with dementia

  • Older people living alone

  • People accessing mental health service users
  • Smokers

KFRS is urging people to check on neighbours, relatives or friends who could be at risk this winter, to pay them a visit to help keep them safe and to make sure they, and their home is ready for the winter.

Charlie has some useful areas that would be good to check:

  • Install smoke alarms for them on every floor of the home and make sure they are tested every week

  • Make sure they have an escape route and keep it clear         
  • If they have a chip pan, replace it with a thermostat-controlled electric deep fat fryer

  • Make sure all plug sockets are not overloaded
  • If they smoke, make sure they use an ash tray
  • Make sure the filter in the tumble dryer is cleaned regularly

  • Ensure that portable heaters are kept away from curtains and furniture and are not use to dry clothes

  • Make sure that the chimney is swept regularly

  • Ensure that all candles are secured in a holder

Charlie said: “With the busy lives most of us lead, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters, but if the worst happens; would your family know what to do? By booking a FREE home safety visit, our teams can fit vitally important smoke alarms – every home should have at least one. Our advisors can also tailor the visit to suit the needs of each person they visit, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. We can provide alarms with special features such as strobe lighting, vibrating alarms and other safety devices.”

Charlie ended by making this plea: “One of the best things you can do this Christmas, is give someone the gift of safety, so get in touch today – you could actually be saving their life.”

To see if you’re eligible for a home safety visit, please call us on 0800 923 7000 (it’s free from landlines) or email 

Helping our communities stay safe and well in the winter.jpg
Margate crews giving Bernie from Palm Bay advice to help him stay safe and well this winter
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