IT’S GOOD TO BE A

At Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, we want to make sure you and your neighbours are doing okay. From the elderly and vulnerable to single parents or anyone who is struggling, we can all take the time to look out for one another.

Who should I look out for?

Everyone! Anyone in your local community could be struggling right now. People may be more vulnerable if they are isolated and bieng in the house all day they may become ignorant to fire safety advice.

How do I get involved?

It’s easy… Simply reach out to relatives, loved ones, friends and neighbours. Let them know they’re not on their own. Make regular phone calls to check that they’re warm enough and ask if there’s anything they need help with. When you leave the house, why not post your number through someone’s letterbox with a note so they can contact you if they need a chat or need some items picking up from the shop?

Who's on board?

We have some great partners on board, like the Silver Line, Mind and Age UK Advice Line. These services are available to anyone struggling right now. See the dropdown for a list of partner services who might be able to help.

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Things to look out for...

Here are some of the things that you could be looking out for, some may seem really obvious, but it can be the smaller things, which we often ignore, that when left untended can end up causing the biggest problems. We’ll update these regularly, so keep checking this webpage for the latest safety advice.

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Is their home falling into disrepair? Or are there signs that they may be struggling to maintain their property? This may be an indicator that they are struggling and could benefit from ours or our partner agencies support.

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Are their curtains always drawn shut? Now more than ever getting some natural sunlight could really boost your mood. Why not drop a note through their letterbox offering a chat?

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Do escape routes appear blocked? For example with furniture or refuse… This might mean that in the event of a fire or other emergency they may struggle to evacuate their home. Gangways and corridors blocked by items might also generate a tripping hazard, which could lead to injury.

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Do they smoke inside the property? If you know that they do direct them to the ‘Your Safety > Safety Advice > Smoking’ section on our website to ensure they are being as safe as they can be.

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Now is the perfect time to Spring Clean and get that cooker spick and span! Having a dirty cookertop or using it as a means of storage is in fact, one of the leading causes of house fires in Lancashire but it’s super easy to avoid; remind them to keep it clean and keep it clear.

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Using portable heaters to keep warm? Keep them at least 1 metre away from items that could catch fire. With the heater themselves, do they look to be in good working order without frayed wires or damaged plugs? If not, don’t use them, grab a blanket instead!

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Candles and tea lights, especially when left unattended create a huge fire risk. Often, melting hot wax can run and cause other items to combust. Ask neighbours to put drawings in their window rather than candles to show solidarity.

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Now is the time to ensure you aren’t overloading plug sockets or using any items that are damaged. And make sure you turn off appliances before going to bed.

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Test your smoke alarm and post a reminder to your neighbours to check theirs every week too. Routine and knowing what day it is will quickly go out the window so make sure you keep on top of your home safety by setting a reminder in your phone.

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We provide a home fire safety check service. To find out more, visit our website or contact our freephone contact number on 0800 169 1125.

  • Partner Services and Support

    The Silver Line is the free, confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Contact them on: 0800 4 70 80 90.

    A free, confidential national phone service for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals. Contact them on: 0800 678 1602.

    If you or someone you know are worried about or affected by dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society is here for you. Call the national dementia hotline on: 0300 222 11 22.

    Mind, the mental health charity. Contact them on: 0300 123 33 93. Text them, on: 86463

    Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. 24/7, 365, call: 116 123

    An independent charitable organisation working across the Lancashire boroughs of Preston, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Chorley, they provide practical support as well as advice and information to enable older, disabled and vulnerable people to stay safe, secure, warm and independent in their own homes. Call them on: 01772 204096.

    A countywide energy efficiency and affordable warmth initiative. They provide support and cost-effective heating and energy solutions for homeowners and private renters. Contact them on: 03306 061488.

    The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free service provided by energy suppliers and network operators to customers in need. Add yourself or someone else to the register with; Electricity North West, United Utilities, Candent Gas.

    Progress Lifeline is a not for profit organisation and is part of the Progress Housing Group based in Lancashire. They provide personal alarms and 24/7 emergency home response service to help people live more independently. Our lifeline buttons can be pressed or activated automatically if someone falls, to call our 24/7 control centre team who can provide help for the user by calling the appropriate emergency contact.

     

     

     

  • Frederick's Story
    image of elderly gentleman wearing war medalsIn August 2019, ninety-six year old war veteran Frederick was admitted to hospital by ambulance.Frederick had not long lost his wife of 75 years, and was still adjusting to a life of independent living. Most of his family had moved away for work purposes and every Friday he would be visited by his carer- this would often be the only human contact Frederick had during the week.Frederick was very much used to doing the chores, like putting out the bins or letting the cat in and out of the house, and so he had no reason to believe that this day would be any different. Unbeknown to Frederick the winds had picked up dramatically overnight. He’s partially deaf and so was unable to hear the roaring outside, and he always keeps his curtains drawn to keep in the heat, and because he fears that burglars might target him. Tomorrow was bin day, and so as per usual Frederick proceeded to take out the rubbish through his garage door. As he opened it, the door was caught by a sudden gust causing it to slam shut, striking him over the head in the process. Ordinarily, Frederick could have counted on his wife, or his carer to come to his aid, but because it was a Sunday no one came.Cold, injured, alone, afraid and unable to lift himself, Frederick had been outside for 14 hours. He had been bleeding quite heavily from an open wound at the top of his head, and he was worried that no-one would find him as he looked down his driveway at cars and passers by going about their typical rush hour business. Time passed, and he had started to become hopeless and began fearing for his life. It was by chance that his next door neighbour, who is also elderly, was out for the day, and so a courier had to deliver her parcel to Frederick’s house instead. Luckily, the courier driver noticed Frederick and immediately called 999. The ambulance service wasted no time in treating Frederick and admitting him to hospital where he made a full recovery.Frederick was lucky, and this situation could have ended very differently indeed. It is stories like these which make us feel so passionately about our winter safety campaign. So when we say ‘It’s good to be a Nosey Neighbour’ we don’t mean peaking, sneaking or creeping, we mean it’s good to be there and look out for neighbours, loved ones and those living around you. Just think…do you have a Frederick living in your community? Get involved with our campaign by following and sharing our winter safety information, and join in the conversation with the hashtag #NoseyNeighbour or sign up by clicking here. 

    *This is a true story, although some details have been changed to preserve the anonymity of the victim, including the use of stock images, available here: https://bit.ly/2X7tkrE