Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Fire risk blackspots to be targeted with safety advice

A new scheme will see Essex County Fire and Rescue Service concentrating fire safety advice on the areas of the county most likely to suffer a house fire.

Using statistics from incidents previously attended by the Service, profiles of the homes most likely to have a fire have been created. These profiles have been used to create a map showing the council wards within the county with the most homes at risk.

These areas will then be targeted with information, safety advice and free home fire safety visits under the new ‘targeted intervention’ scheme which has already blitzed the Victoria Ward in Southend and Fryerns, Basildon.

According to Service statistics, the 10 wards with the greatest risk of fire are:

1. Victoria - Southend

2. Kursaal - Southend

3. St. Andrew's, Colchester

4. Milton - Southend

5. Fryerns - Basildon

6. Lee Chapel North - Basildon

7. Grays Riverside - Grays

8. Castle - Colchester

9. Pitsea North West - Basildon

10. New Town – Colchester

ECFRS’ Head of Safer Communities, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill said:  “We have looked back at years’ worth of data on house fires to develop an in depth picture of the people who are most at risk of fires and the kind of homes they live in. We have used that data to find all the homes in the county which match the ‘at risk’ criteria and we are specifically targeting them with information and home fire safety visits.

“As a public service, we have increasingly limited resources, so it is important that we use our people and our campaigns where they can have the greatest impact in terms of reducing fires and the numbers of people killed or injured in them.

“Targeted Intervention is ECFRS working smarter and making sure that we get the maximum benefit from the work that we do.”

The initiative kicked off with a blitz which saw firefighters, community safety officers and volunteers knocking on doors in Victoria Ward on Friday November 8.

The area was identified as having a particularly large number of those most likely to suffer accidental dwelling fires, and so teams went out and about visiting the at-risk individuals personally to install smoke alarms and educate them on reducing risk of fire.

A second initiative took place in Basildon Fryerns Ward between December 9 and 13, when nearly 1,000 homes were targeted with information about safety and the offer of a free home fire safety visit.

The data will go on to inform much of the home fire community safety work taking place throughout 2014, when ECFRS will launch it’s new hard-hitting Killer in the Kitchen campaign.

ACFO Hill: “As a Service we work tirelessly to make sure homes and families are as safe from the risk of fire as much as possible.

“We know that smoke alarms are proven life savers and every home should have at least one smoke alarm on every level. It’s our ultimate ambition to have a smoke alarm in every home in Essex.

"We have already run a pilot event and from 400 homes visited we have generated 150 referrals that will now have full home fire safety visits. Of these 400 homes, 80% did not have smoke alarms, indicating we are getting the targeting right."

To arrange a free home fire safety, call 0300 303 0088 or email webmaster@essex-fire.gov.uk It doesn’t have to be for you – if you know an elderly or vulnerable person who could benefit from our services, let us know. You could give them the best gift this Christmas – the gift of life!

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