FIREFIGHTERS in Wigan are urging people to look out for older
members of the community this Christmas and test their smoke
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) crews have
joined forces with Wigan Council and the NHS to help keep the older
community safe as winter sets in.
Borough Manager Steve Sheridan said: "Working smoke alarms
really do save lives so we'd like people to take time out this
winter to look in on an elderly neighbour or friend.
"Please make sure older friends and relatives have smoke
alarms and check once a week that they are working, it could
save their lives.
Sadly, a 90-year-old man died in his home in Standish in October
after his clothes caught fire on a gas fire. The NHS say
31,000 people died last year as a result of the cold weather.
Wigan Council's social care squad visit older residents to make
sure they are warm and keeping well in their communities and will
remind them to check their smoke alarms.
It comes as Age UK say that one in 20 over 65s will spend
Christmas Day alone.
Laura Newton from Wigan Council's Social Care Squad said: "As we
visit older people in their homes we'll be looking out for them and
making sure they have a working smoke alarm.
"But we also want people to pledge to look out for an older
person in this way, look after older neighbours, friends and family
because it's something we can all do this winter.
"Encourage people to contact GMFRS on the free-phone number for
a Home Safety Check."
Standish residents Tommy and Jennie Worthington were told about
the free HSC on a visit by Wigan's Social Care Squad.
89-year-old Tommy said: "It's great I've now got some 10 year
smoke alarms in the right place and I will test them with a stick
once a week.
"The firefighters were very nice and they replaced a block
adapter in the kitchen with a strip adapter so we are safer now at
home and they talked to us about fire safety."
For a free Home Safety Check from GMFRS, which may include
the fitting of smoke alarms, please contact GMFRS on 0800 555 815
For advice from the NHS on how to stay warm and well this
winter go to
Sign the Winter Friends Pledge and agree to look out for an
older friend, neighbour or relative here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/27/samaritans-for-winter/