London Fire Brigade

Capital’s vulnerable a top fire safety priority

01 February 2011

screenshot of Leonard Cheshire Disability website London Fire Brigade is set to make a firm commitment to improving the fire safety of disabled people across the capital.

This week the Brigade will enter into a formal agreement with the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability which will see both organisations working together to target vital fire safety education at disabled people - a group most at risk from fire and its effects.

People with disabilities, especially those with mobility problems, are more likely to be injured, or even killed if a fire breaks out in their home. The Brigade wants to ensure as many disabled people as possible are aware of how to prevent fires and what to do if a fire does occur.

By working with Leonard Cheshire Disability across London the Brigade ultimately hopes to reduce the number of fires involving disabled people. Firefighters will work with the charity to increase the number of home fire safety visits carried out at the homes of disabled people and to educate people, and their carers, about fire safety and the importance of smoke alarms.

London Fire Brigade first started working with the charity when firefighters met with disabled people at the Randall Close Resource Centre in Wandsworth to deliver fire safety awareness. The scheme was such a success that the two organisations have decided to roll it out across the capital.

Chairman and Leader of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman, said: “This partnership is about reducing the number of fires affecting some of the most vulnerable people in London. I look forward to building on our work with Leonard Cheshire Disability and to working together to make disabled people safer from fire.”

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “I truly believe that we can save lives with this initiative. Disabled people are more likely to be injured in fires and we want to reduce that risk by working with Leonard Cheshire Disability. Firefighters will hopefully gain valuable insight into some of the challenges faced by disabled people, which will in turn help us improve the service we offer.”

Rosemarie Mitchell, a managing director at Leonard Cheshire Disability said:

“Following the success of what started as a local initiative at one of our services in Wandsworth, we are absolutely delighted to be further strengthening our partnership with the London Fire Brigade.

We are looking forward to working together and I am confident that we will raise fire safety awareness levels among disabled people at our services and across the capital.

This will also be an opportunity for the firefighters to learn more about how disability can impact on someone’s life.”

Ends

Notes to editors

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, Chairman and Leader of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman, and Rosemarie Mitchell from Leonard Cheshire Disability will sign a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and Leonard Cheshire Disability on Tuesday 1 February.

About LCD
Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of disabled people in the UK and works in more than 50 countries. They campaign for change and provide innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live life their way. Visit http://www.lcdisability.org/

Fire safety advice
For more home fire safety advice, go to www.london-fire-gov.uk/YourSafety.asp or ‘London Fire Brigade’ on Facebook. You can also find us on @LondonFire on Twitter.

For more information, call London Fire Brigade’s press office on 020 8536 5922.