Continued home fire safety visits for Careline customers after funding support

South Somerset District Council's Careline service has teamed up with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue service (DSFRS) to promote home safety this Christmas.

Careline and the Fire Service have each contributed funding to enable vulnerable people across South Somerset access to the installation of free Careline-linked telecare type Smoke Detectors.  This supports the free Home Fire Safety advice and visits that are already available from DSFRS.

The funding has been awarded to increase safety in the homes, particularly at Christmas time.

Since the partnership began two years ago, 233 Careline customers have received free advice in the home about fire safety, and 332 specialist telecare type smoke detectors have been installed in their homes. These are monitored directly through to Careline's control centre, alerting the team that fire or smoke is detected.  The direct link to Careline ensures customers will always receive an immediate response in the case of smoke or fire.

The detectors lead to about 175 alerts a year from customers, and since the scheme began 2 years ago the Fire Service have attended 38 emergency visits to people linked up to Careline in need of immediate help, which shows the real value of the partnership.

The next round of funding will enable Careline to continue to support vulnerable people by installing a further specialist detection equipment directly into people's homes.

Station Manager, Matt Evans from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said, "We are delighted to be working once more in partnership with South Somerset Careline. Working together we can continue to help vulnerable people in our community this Christmas so their homes are safe."

Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Careline said, "We are extremely grateful to the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service for the funding they have put in to this fantastic initiative. Ensuring more residents of South Somerset have smoke alarms installed is a job well done and increases the safety of our residents."

Crew Manager, Mike Toop added: "I think of it as the three 'M's', which are memory, mobility and medication. They all will affect how a fire could start in the first place, but more so it effects how someone might react when a smoke alarm activates. With a smoke alarm fitted the resident might not register the sound, but Careline would and a response would be ensured."

Careline provides help at the touch of a button and gives that little extra support to people who want to remain living independently for as long as possible while bringing peace of mind to their family and friends.

The service provides an emergency alarm pendant that can be worn at all times, which links to our local control centre where emergency staff are on hand to answer calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Relatives can enjoy peace of mind that their loved ones are safe and will get an immediate response whenever they need it.

A free demonstration in the home can be offered and, if you are happy with the service, our staff can connect and set up the unit immediately. Through our Stepping Stones service we provide the alarm free of charge for 6 weeks for patients referred to us when they are discharged from hospital. Alarm rental and monitoring is just £3.84 a week.

To find out more about how Careline can help you, your family or friends, please call 01935 479815, visit www.carelinesouthsomerset.co.uk or email careline@southsomerset.gov.uk.

If you would like to know more about fire safety in the home you can visit www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/SafetyInTheHome. The web page includes a fire assessment booklet which you can use yourself or discuss with your family. If you would like to talk about the possibility of a home safety visit by the fire and rescue service, please telephone 0800 05 02 999.

Careline

Photo above: (Left to Right) Rob Radley (Community Safety Officer), Bob Horne (Careline Officer), Councillor Sylvia Seal and Mike Toop (Community Safety Officer) at Yeovil Fire Station following the announcement of the funding support from Devon & Somerset Fire Rescue Service