In Lancashire, the numbers of house fires and injuries from fires are at their lowest recorded levels ever.
Despite this, over the past three years nearly half of the fire deaths in Lancashire have occurred during a three week period at the end of December and early January.
More than 90% of people losing their lives at this time of year are older people living alone and with no working smoke alarm fitted.
With these stats in mind, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is launching the “Safer Together” campaign. It aims to reduce the number of elderly people living alone dying in house fires across Lancashire during the end of December and early January.
On what promises to be the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year, firefighters from across Lancashire will be out-and-about in the county’s supermarkets and shopping centres trying to reach older people through their families, friends and neighbours.
Firefighters will be taking referrals for free Home Safety Checks for older people and giving out free smoke alarms to people who can fit them for older people.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny saod: “Every year, our firefighters attend incidents where elderly people have been living alone and have tragically died in a house fire.
“On Saturday December 21st every available firefighter will be on the streets getting the message out that ‘together, we can help make people safer by ensuring they have a working smoke alarm.’
“If you have an older relative, friend or neighbour, please check that they have a working smoke alarm.
“If you can’t check, or if they do not have a working smoke alarm, please pass their details on to us so we can book them a free Home Fire Safety Check. It could be the best present that you give this year.”
Lancashire Combined Fire Authority Member, Country Councillor Mark Perks added: “In my role as a County Councillor and as the Fire Authority’s Older Person’s Champion, I have heard about the consequences of not having a working smoke alarm in a home.
“I echo the Chief Fire Officer’s comments and strongly urge anyone who knows of an older person to ensure that they have a working smoke alarm fitted in their home this Christmas, it could save their life.”
l To see where firefighters are going to be this Saturday, December 21st, please visit the fire service website at: www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk
Alternatively, look on its Facebook page or Twitter account. If you cannot get to any of the locations are not available that day, you can still book a free and potentially lifesaving Home Fire Safety Check for an elderly person by calling 0800 1691125.