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Majority of Greater Manchester homes now have smoke alarms thanks to work of GMFRS

HOMES in Greater Manchester are safer than ever thanks to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's (GMFRS) free Home Safety Check service.

The work of firefighters, community safety staff and volunteers to spread the message about the importance of smoke alarms and fit them free of charge has ensured that the majority of homes in Greater Manchester are now fitted with the life-saving devices.

Statistics reveal that a total of 81 per cent of all homes recently involved in fire in Greater Manchester had a smoke alarm fitted - and the figures have steadily risen from 67 per cent three years ago.

GMFRS is beating the national average - a report from the Department of Communities and Local Government reveals that nationally in 2012/13, just 69 per cent of homes involved in a fire had a smoke alarm.

GMFRS' Director of Prevention and Protection, Assistant County Officer Peter O'Reilly, said: "While the statistics show that 81 per cent of all homes involved in a fire had smoke alarms, the figure for all homes in Greater Manchester with smoke alarms is likely to be much higher because we can't measure that.

"The increase is the result of our continued prevention work - using operational firefighters, community safety staff and GMFRS volunteers to carry out free Home Safety Checks (HSCs) which involves giving advice to residents in their homes and often fitting smoke alarms.

"We now have more than 400 volunteers who are from a range of backgrounds - including Rotary Club volunteers who are trained to deliver HSCs and these volunteers help us to get into the homes of vulnerable people who may feel intimated by firefighters."

Smoke alarms give people an early warning to a fire - giving them vital seconds to escape or alerting them to smoke or overheating before a fire develops.

Vice Chair of GMFRS' Service Delivery Committee, Councillor Lynda Byrne, said: "This is welcoming news. The hard work carried out by GMFRS and the volunteers is paying off.

"An increase from 67 per cent to 81 per cent is a credit to all involved. It means that potentially more lives will be saved and less damage will be caused to homes involved in fire.

"I would urge anyone who has not got a working smoke alarm to contact GMFRS and book a Home Safety Check."

Mr O'Reilly added: "Ideally we would like every single home in Greater Manchester to be fitted with smoke detectors but the focus of our work now is to target those most at risk, which we are doing via a number of initiatives.

"These include our collaboration work such as co-locating in some areas and sharing information with our partners, which is helping us overcome a lot of the barriers of the past."

For a free Home Safety Check, which could include the fitting of smoke alarms, call 0800 555 815 or visit /fire_safety_advice/home_fire_risk_assessments.aspx

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

  • The figure referred to in paragraph four is taken from a report by the Department of Communities and Local Government called 'Fire Statistics: Great Britain April to 2012 to March 2013'.
  • Table 1 provides a breakdown of whether a smoke alarm was present at an incident. Over the three-year period the percentage of incidents where an alarm was present has increased from 69.1% to 76.9%
  • Table 2 indicates the presence of smoke alarms at incidents by quarter. A clear upward trend can be seen from 67% in Q1 2011/12 to 81% 2013/14. Some fluctuations are to be expected as each quarter different properties are having dwelling fires.

Year

Yes

No

Don't know

Yes %

2011/12

1878

770

70

69.1%

2012/13

1863

549

42

75.9%

2013/14

1826

518

29

76.9%

Table 1: Smoke alarm presence by year

Quarter

Yes

No

Don't know

Yes %

2011/12 Q1

445

199

18

67%

2011/12 Q2

458

208

17

67%

2011/12 Q3

483

194

12

70%

2011/12 Q4

492

169

23

72%

2012/13 Q1

415

156

18

70%

2012/13 Q2

472

133

6

77%

2012/13 Q3

480

138

9

77%

2012/13 Q4

496

122

9

79%

2013/14 Q1

469

144

6

76%

2013/14 Q2

421

140

11

74%

2013/14 Q3

498

140

6

77%

2013/14 Q4

438

94

6

81%

Table 2: Smoke alarm presence by quarter

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:25
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