Free tips from Haywards Heath firefighters on how to prevent house fires

Mid Sussex residents aged 65 and over can get free tips on preventing house fires over a cup of tea with firefighters from Haywards Heath.

The ‘Tea and Tips’ event at the Kleinwort Centre in Butlers Green Road takes place next Thursday, from 10am to 12pm.

The Kleinwort Centre in Haywards Heath. Picture: Google Street View

The Kleinwort Centre in Haywards Heath. Picture: Google Street View

It forms part of the fire service’s older people fire prevention month and have been designed to help tackle loneliness and improve fire safety for our older residents.

Alistair Evans, safe and well manager for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) said: “In 2018/19 we attended almost 150 house fires involving people over 65 years old.

“We’re hoping that these events will offer our older residents the opportunity to get out and meet some new people and at the same time pick up some really vital, possibly life saving, tips.”

The events will also raise awareness of the free safe and well visits carried out by WSFRS, a spokesman said.

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The visits offer advice on how to make the home safer and, if appropriate, fit smoke alarms and other specialist fire detection equipment free of charge, said the spokesman.

Visits are tailored to the specific needs of the household – they normally last between 30 to 45 minutes.

The fire service personnel who visit always carry identification.

Residents can book a free visit at the event, or alternatively they can email safeandwell@westsussex.gov.uk or call 0345 8729 719 to refer someone.

Jacquie Russell, cabinet member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “This is a fantastic way of ensuring our older residents remain connected to their communities whilst being provided with valuable information that will ensure they feel safer in their homes.

“I’d encourage all of our older residents to come along to their nearest event and get involved.”

For more on the ‘Tea and Tips’ event www.westsussex.gov.uk/campaigns/home-fire-safety.