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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Safety-related home visits to vulnerable Cumbria residents launched

Home Accident Reduction (HART) officials are due to begin visiting vulnerable Cumbria residents from next week

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service technicians will assess a range of home safety-related issues such as preventing falls and addressing mobility problems as well as fire risks from December 17.

Six HART technicians along with other CFRS staff, including firefighters, are also being trained to deliver this important safety information and advice.

The new scheme will see CFRS working closely with partner agencies including the NHS and Age UK to share information and resources to provide residents with a more joined up service.

CFRS has introduced a new online assessment tool enabling the people of Cumbria to gauge their risk of falling victim to fire in the home by asking a range of questions aimed at identifying the individual’s level and type of risk.

The assessment, which takes about five minutes to complete, is then used by CFRS to determine whether a personal home safety visit is required or if relevant precautions are already being taken which can be supplemented by advice available online.

Councillor Barry Doughty, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “By better targeting home safety visits at those that will benefit most and providing online advice to others, we’re delivering a more focussed service that makes better use of resources by maximising the benefit of home safety visits to the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Our fire prevention and community safety work has had a tremendous impact on reducing the number of fires in Cumbria – we’ve seen a 47 per cent reduction between 2007-08 and 2012-13 – and the HART visits and online tool are part of this ongoing fire reduction journey.”

Chief fire officer Ian Cartwright said: “The HART visits will continue to include the fitting of smoke alarms where relevant as well identifying other safety-related issues that could be a problem in the home.

“Statistics show elderly and disabled people, especially those who live alone, are more at risk of fire and household accidents, so the launch of this new HART service is a real landmark moment for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.”

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