News release text
Making our communities safer was the aim of a special event held at Thames-side Fire Station on Friday, (27 September).
17 community wardens from Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and Malling attended a day of demonstrations and advice so they can work alongside Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) to help keep elderly and vulnerable people safe from fire in their homes.
Thames-side Watch Manager, Dave Mayhew, said: “The wardens are the focal point in the areas they cover. They work directly with excluded and vulnerable sections of the community and that makes them best placed to be our eyes and ears on the ground.”
As well as spending time in KFRS’s hazard perception room testing their knowledge of potential fire hazards, the wardens also saw a chip pan demonstration, showing the devastating effects of using water on a cooking oil fire.
Mat Honeysett, Area Manager for Kent Community Wardens, said: “Our role is all about helping people live safely and independently, so working with KFRS to help the more vulnerable members of our communities is a key priority for us.
“Being a key focal point means we are also able to address local problems as and when they occur and flag up potential problem hotspots we find on our areas, such as rubbish which could be set alight, discarded gas cylinders or abandoned vehicles.”
Wardens learned about the range of services KFRS provides for vulnerable people. These include, where needed, free home safety visits and specialist equipment for more ‘at risk’ residents, including smoke alarms designed for visually and hearing impaired people. Other help might include providing items such as fireproof bedding and fire retardant materials for immobile smokers, and safety gadgets such as cooker shut off switches for those who have become forgetful about turning the cooker off.
For more information on KFRS’s home safety visits, which are assessed on an individual basis and take into consideration age, health, mobility, lifestyle and other risks, please call 0800 923 7000 (free of charge from UK landlines) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Mayhew added: "This is an excellent opportunity to work in partnership with Kent’s Community Wardens to help protect the most vulnerable people and make our communities safer.”