Fire service launches Safe and Well Visits in Cumbria

Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is launching Safe and Well Visits – a new initiative designed to help vulnerable people live independently in Cumbria.

The visits will build on the success of the Service’s Home Safety assessment visits programme that has helped protect thousands of people throughout Cumbria from the risk of fire in their home.

From 1 April 2017, the Safe and Well Visits will initially target vulnerable residents aged over 65. The visits will still incorporate the traditional fire safety information but will also offer additional advice on social wellbeing, preventing slips, trips and falls at home, and advice on where to get support for those wishing to stop smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption.

Paul Hancock, Cumbria County Council’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “Home safety visits by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have had a massive impact on people’s safety. This proactive fire prevention work in our communities has helped keep residents safe and nearly halved the number of incidents that the fire service has attended over the past ten years. We want to build on that success by widening the focus of these visits to include health, social and lifestyle matters as well as the physical risks of a fire in people’s homes.”

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s director of public health, said: “Fire and rescue staff come into contact with vulnerable people every day, so the new Safe and Well Visits are a fantastic opportunity to help vulnerable people in Cumbria live full lives, sustain their independence for longer and reduce preventable hospital admissions. This is a great example of how health, care and emergency services can work together with other partners to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Cumbria.”

The Safe and Well Visits will initially be offered to vulnerable people aged over 65 who have been identified by the NHS. The visits will be carried out by firefighters and community safety teams from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service. CFRS is aiming to carry out 10,000 Safe and Well Visits in Cumbria over the coming year.