We want to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities – making them safer and stronger.
There are many ways in which improving the health and wellbeing of our communities can also support us in reducing deaths and injuries from fire. Working with our partners we promote healthier eating, discourage smoking, tackle binge drinking and drug problems.
Smoking – one in three accidental home fire deaths are caused by smoking. We want to support members of our communities to stop smoking. If you would like to quit smoking, call the NHS Smoke Free on 0300 1231044 or visit Go Smoke Free website or We Quit website
Alcohol – we attend a large number of alcohol and drug related fires each year, causes are usually drinking alcohol then falling asleep whilst cooking or smoking. Intoxication can cause drowsiness and make you less alert to the signs of fire. When you discover a fire, the alcohol/drugs can heighten feelings of disorientation, making it difficult for you to escape. For advice and support visit NHS Live Well.
Chip pans – we still attend incidents each year caused by chip pans. Oven chips are healthier and less dangerous than deep frying, but if you have to fry your chips think about using a deep fat fryer or air fryer
Emollient skin products
These products (creams, lotions, oils, sprays and gels) are prescribed for a variety of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, ulcers and bed sores.
They provide a barrier on the skin to reduce water loss.
- They are SAFE to use but can soak through to dressings, clothing and bedding leaving a flammable residue – wash regularly on a high temperature
- If exposed to naked flame or heat source e.g. cigarette, heater they could catch fire and spread rapidly
- Tell your relatives or carers you use these products so they can help keep you safe
- NHS safety advice on using emollient skin products is available here
Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition defined by the NHS as where someone acquires an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner. The items can vary in type and be of low monetary value but high emotional value to the individual. It often results in unmanageable amounts of possessions.
This disorder can increase fire risk due to the increased amount of possessions and exit routes can be blocked. It can also increase the spread of fire and smoke, particularly if there are large amounts of flammable materials such as newspapers.
We want to improve safety and ensure that anyone experiencing the condition is given a FREE Safer Homes visits and has an escape plan. It is also important that the fire brigade are aware of the issue in case of an incident so firefighters can respond accordingly.
Video Credit: London Fire Brigade (subtitles available via YouTube)
Heart attack survivability
We assist the North East Ambulance Service by providing a co-responder service to the people of East Cleveland. This means in certain life threatening situations, we jointly respond to an emergency call. If we reach the scene first, our crews are trained and equipped to deal with respiratory and heart conditions.
We work with the British Heart Foundation to deliver free Emergency Life Support (ELS) classes. This is important in households where someone may be receiving treatment for heart problems. These classes mean we can train family members to deliver emergency life support treatment in case a cardiac arrest occurs at home. Under the direction of the HeartStart UK training program we teach members of the public basic Emergency Life Support (ELS) techniques. These skills are a simple set of actions you can perform to keep someone alive until help arrives, they include:
- performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- dealing with choking
- serious bleeding
- helping someone that may be having a heart attack