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Fire Safety for Vulnerable Residents

Fire Safety for Vulnerable Residents

Over 500 vulnerable residents in Torbay will be given the opportunity of free life-saving safety checks at home, thanks to an innovative partnership between Mears Care and Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.Mears Care, which provides home care services for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, set up a partnership with the Fire Service in January 2016 to identify fire risks in service users’ homes. The partnership provides advice and reassurance, and even gives out fire-safety equipment, such as fire retardant bedding and mats, carbon monoxide detectors, as well as fitting smoke alarms.On one occasion, when Firefighter Andy Gould replaced an old smoke alarm with new ones guaranteed to last 10 years, the 96-year-old resident humorously replied: “Oh lovely, they will see me out then!”Another service user with multiple health conditions was identified as being high risk and presented with a fire retardant mat as she was prone to dropping cigarettes on the carpet.The project is just beginning, but is already being developed to provide fire prevention awareness training for care workers in the Bay.The driving force behind the project is Mears Visiting Officer Gilly Laskey, who comes from a family of fire-fighters, but also suffered a devastating loss, when her grandmother died in a fire caused by smoking in bed.Gilly said: “I have always had a strong passion to help people, especially to keep them safe from fire-related accidents. Working alongside Andy and the fire service in Torbay, we aim to make this kind of tragedy a thing of the past.”Firefighter Andy Gould, said, “Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is very keen to continue and expand the joint home safety visits we carry out with Mears, as it is so important for us to help people stay safe in their homes using the range of equipment and bespoke advice that we can offer.”David Harborne, Mears Operations Manager for Torbay and Southern Devon said, “We are delighted to be working with the Fire Service. This partnership is an asset to our local community, helping us support vulnerable people to live safely in their own homes.”John Bryant, Head of Commissioning for Adult Social Care for Torbay, said, “The Living Well@Home programme is all about just that – making sure people live well at home. Partnering with Mears, and seeing this type of integrated approach between agencies, is yet another positive step in this process.”