More than 5,000 Bedfordshire residents have benefitted from life-saving Safe and Well visits.
Across the county 5,612 visits were carried out between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019, by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and its partners.
This is almost double the number completed the year before.
A Safe and Well visit involves trained staff visiting vulnerable people in their homes, which can include the elderly, people who live alone, smokers, people with health conditions such as limited mobility, and households that do not currently have smoke alarms fitted. The visit provides advice and guidance on fire safety in the home including the installation of required safety equipment such as smoke alarms. The visits can also see a falls risk assessment carried out, crime prevention advice discussed, along with smoking and alcohol consumption.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andy Hopkinson explained: “There has been a huge shift over the past few years to addressing the growing risk in our communities that comes with an ageing population. Our drive to get out into the community and complete Safe and Well visits is closely aligned with our mission to help make Bedfordshire safer and we do believe helping people in their homes contributes hugely to this.”
Fire service staff complete the visits and also work with partners including local authority, charities and community organisations to receive referrals.
As a result of Safe and Well visits, when required the Service signpost or make referrals to partner agencies that may be able to offer additional support, like the Bobby Scheme or Telecare.
Prevention Support Manager Jordanna Simpson manages the Service’s Safe and Well programme. She said: “Everyone involved with the Safe and Well programme has worked extremely hard to make the most vulnerable people within our communities stay safer for longer in their own homes – a huge thank you to all involved.”
The public can also request a Safe and Well visit for a vulnerable friend, family member or neighbour by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01234 845 000. If we are unable to visit we can still provide advice. Further details can be found on our website https://www.bedsfire.gov.uk/Community-safety/Home-safety/Safe-and-Well-visits.aspx