Firefighters have launched a campaign to help stop preventable deaths in house fires.
As part of a new initiative, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will highlight the importance of smoke alarms on the first Tuesday of every month – Alarm Up Day.
Staff will check in on the most vulnerable, carry out free visits and encouraging people to check their relatives, especially older, have a working smoke alarm on each floor of their home.
Firefighters in Cumbria were called to 360 property fires over the last three years where there was no working smoke alarm fitted. Five resulted in deaths.
Craig Drinkald, head of community safety, said: “These tragic deaths and incidents are often completely preventable.
“We investigate every fire that we attend, to understand how the fire started and developed and whether it could have been prevented entirely.
“The answer is all too often, is yes, the fire could have been prevented, and that person would have avoided injury or sadly, death.
“But the greatest challenge for us has always been reaching the most vulnerable people in our communities to make sure they have the life-saving advice and support they need.
“Which is why we are issuing a call to action – if you know someone who is over 50, smokes, lives alone or has mobility issues – we need you to help us reach them.
“Make the call to us and we can ensure that the people who may be at risk get the fire safety advice and support they need to help them stay safe in their home.”
People are recommended to test their smoke alarms once a week.
Jackson Kidd, on-call support crew manager, said: “We know that there are people at risk, but we don’t know who they are or where they are. You might however, and you can put us in touch with them.
“If you are a carer or family then you can refer them to us on their behalf – if you are a neighbour or a concerned friend you must ask them for their consent before you refer them.
“Call them and check in with them and encourage them to seek our advice or ask if you can call us on their behalf – our staff are trained and equipped to offer the best advice possible.”
Call the automated line on 0800 917 9994 and leave a message.