News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has been explaining the importance of fire safety in the home to The Mayor of Dartford, Councillor Patsy Thurlow and members of the Dartford Elders Forum this morning, (Friday) at the Orchard Theatre.
The stark message from firefighters was that a fire only needs a few seconds to start and can quickly lead to damage to your home, serious injury and could even kill you. Between 2010 and 2013, 10 people lost their lives after accidental fires in their homes in Kent – nine of these people were aged 65 and over.
Dartford Watch Manager, Vince Lewis, said: “If fire breaks out in your home it’s an incredibly scary situation, but for an older person, who may also have difficulty seeing, hearing or moving about easily, it’s even more frightening, especially as they are more at risk of having a fire in their home and are also less likely to escape.
“We offer a range of free services and in some cases can provide safety items such as flame retardant bedding and blankets, smoke alarms suitable for those with hearing and visual problems and cooker shut off switches for those who are getting a little forgetful, to help keep people safer in their homes. Get in touch with us free on 0800 923 7000 and we will talk through the risks you face - some of which you may not have thought of.“
The Dartford Elders Forum meeting is facilitated by Dartford Borough Council (DBC) and meets several times a year to ensure the voices of older people are heard, and their needs and hopes are acted on when decisions are made that affect them.
Dartford firefighters at the Dartford Elders ForumCouncillor Ann Allen, Lead Member for Communities, said: “With the population aging it’s important that older people are aware of how to keep safe and independent in their own homes and the Fire Service presentation was really informative. Having their support could be a genuinely life-saving measure for some of the older, disabled and vulnerable members of the community that we meet.”
Other speakers at the Dartford Elders Forum included: Karen Edmunds, Kent Community Health NHS Trust, Robin Wharfe from Volunteer Driver Service, Councillor Patsy Thurlow speaking about her year as Mayor of Dartford and Councillor Jeremy Kite on the summer ahead.