Clare County Fire and Rescue Service is highlighting the importance of having a working smoke detector and encouraging older people and those living alone to avail of a free home inspection under its Community Fire Safety programme.
The role of Clare County Fire & Rescue Service as a principal emergency service is complemented by the promotion of fire safety awareness in the community. The decline in fire-related deaths in recent years can be attributed in part to a general awareness of fire safety together with an uptake in ownership of domestic smoke alarms.
Notwithstanding this, a number of fire fatalities occur each year in domestic settings. Recent Irish research has shown that the majority of those who die are alone at the time of the fire, with over 50% of those fatalities over the age of 65 years. The most common time for a fatal fire occurs after midnight with common causes including faulty mobile phone/laptop chargers and poorly maintained stoves and flues. In 2022, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service attended 112 domestic fires.
Through its Community Fire Safety programme, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service provides a ‘Home Fire Safety Check’ for older people and those living alone. This is a free pre-arranged visit to people’s homes to provide advice on how to stay safe from fire, including:
How to prevent fire happening
What to do in the event of a fire
Cooking and electrical safety
Planning an escape route
And a night-time routine.
If we find that smoke detectors need fitting in your home or that existing faulty detectors need replacing, we will do this free of charge during our visit.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien, said: “The initiative is part of ongoing efforts by Clare County Council to improve the overall fire safety in the home. Sadly, the number of incidences of fire in Clare remains unacceptably high, which is why I would encourage householders to use their own initiative to learn and do more about fire prevention in the home.”
This initiative is a combined effort of Clare County Council, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service and the communities, service providers and volunteers who help to install the alarms. Alarms are funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
According to Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer, County Fire and Rescue Service: “Our attendance at domestic incidents remains high, and our personnel are acutely aware of the dangers that fire poses to people in their home. Through our Home Fire Safety Checks, our firefighters are ideally placed throughout the county to target this specific grouping, and to offer fire safety advice in their homes.”
If you wish to avail of this scheme you can contact Clare County Fire and Rescue Service by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 065-6846302.