Fire Service supports Hoarding Awareness Week
The week will see Fire and Rescue Services across the country delivering messages to promote awareness of the risks presented by properties occupied by individuals with a tendency to hoard.
Group Commander Adrian Elliott from HWFRS’s Community Safety department said: “The aim of Hoarding Awareness Week is to spread more widely facts about hoarding and to make people aware of the potential dangers. Fires in properties where individuals have a tendency to hoard create very specific risks and hazards and can create significant risks to individuals, the community and our Fire crews”.
He continued “Fire crews are visiting more and more properties where hoarding is an issue and it is important to make people aware of what the risks involved. If you know someone who stores large amounts of possessions in and around their home and you feel that they may benefit from help, there are many organisations that will support this process”.
Group Commander Elliott urged people to help keep vulnerable individuals safe from fire by following the advice below:
- Fit smoke alarms on every level of the house
- Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week. Change them every year. Never remove them.
- Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.
- Take extra care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk
- Unplug appliances when not using them or when you go to bed
- Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out
- Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire – like curtains
- Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows how to escape
- Don’t tackle a fire yourself. Keep calm and act quickly, get everyone out as soon as possible
- Newspapers and mail stored in bulk are highly combustible and will cause a fire to spread rapidly. Sort mail and newspapers on the day they are received and recycle them on a regular basis.