Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Our Mission: Safer Stronger Communities - Safe Effective Firefighters.

PLEASE NOTE: Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has given away free smoke alarms in Merseyside since 1999. However, since January 2012, due to budget cuts, MFRS is no longer able to offer free smoke alarms to everyone in Merseyside. To make the best use of its limited resources, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is now using an intelligence-led approach to target the most high risk and vulnerable members of the community and provide them with free smoke alarms.

If you live in Merseyside, you can phone 0800 731 5958 for free home fire safety advice and, if appropriate, MFRS is able to offer a not for profit service to provide smoke alarms.

A Home Fire Safety Check (HFSC) visit can be requested for your home, where free fire safety advice will be given, including the importance of having working smoke alarms on each level of your home and making sure everyone knows how to escape if a fire were to start. Call 0800 731 5958 to request further information and request a visit. You can also request a Home Fire Safety Check by filling in a form on our service website at: HFSC form. You can request a Home Fire Safety Check for you, a neighbour or relative.

If you are, or you know someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, there is important information on our Service website on this page: Advice for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Smoke alarms

Home Fire Safety Check campaign

The importance of having working smoke alarms is emphasised in all national campaigns and publicity material. The most recent dedicated smoke alarm campaigns have been on maintenance ( Rewind, Dec 1998/January 1999) and the Excuses Kill smoke alarm ownership campaign (Sept 2001/Jan 2002). Both campaigns showed a significant increase in awareness of the smoke alarm message, with particular recognition among key target groups. National campaigns have also benefited from the support of smoke alarm and battery manufacturers, as well as retailers.

Target groups, information and awareness opportunities include:

Older people. They are more at risk of injury from fire and are less likely to own alarms.

  • In addition to fire service initiatives, other smoke alarm installation schemes operate for older people, including those which link fire safety with other home improvements. The Help the Aged HandyVan scheme provides security and safety support for older people in nearly 30 areas of England, Scotland and Wales. In 2000, a fire safety and security element was added to the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) which provides heating and insulation help in the homes of pensioners in less well-off neighbourhoods. This joint initiative resulted in the free provision of smoke alarms to around 75,000 qualifying homes.

Parents. Smoke alarms may be particularly effective in preventing death when the fire involves young children, and campaign research suggests that parents are generally more receptive to safety messages. There are a variety of opportunities to highlight smoke alarms, through national campaigns and the associated sponsors, as well as through local community-health outlets and health visitors.

  • Fire services can make the most of opportunities to be involved in local safety events such as Mothercare's 'new parents days'. Details of stores are circulated in advance by the NCFSC.
  • Smoke alarm reminders are included in the 'ages and stages' publicity and discussion group material produced by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) for Child Safety Week.

Home movers. Whatever the household and home size, a home move is an opportunity to take a fresh look at safety issues, including smoke alarms. This is a message which can be of particular use in local partnerships and community involvement. National links are being made with estate agency and DIY networks.

  • During 2000/01, the NCFSC is advertising in The Key, a colourful new publication which is given to customers of YOUR MOVE, the Estate Agency Division of CGU Life, covering a network of 340 branches throughout the UK.

Socio-economic group DE. Although there is some evidence that the spread of ownership is more even than in the early 1990s, this group is still more likely to suffer fires and less able to deal with the financial consequences.

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service's Home Fire Safety Check aims to highlight these possible danger areas or risks in the home, that may result in fire and the terrible damage that it can cause. The advice given is aimed at reducing that risk and assisting people to create a fire safe community. If you are interested in receiving a Home Fire Safety Checkplease telephone Fire Service Direct on:
freephone 0800 731 5958

Alternately you can apply for a Home Fire Safety Check online: apply for HFSC - click here to fill in the necessary form

Addressing attitudes. So that people realise that fire is a risk that applies to everyone, low risk does not equate to no risk.

  • "The aim of the September 2000 national Fire Action Plan campaign was to alert every home to the reality of fire risk and the need for both an escape plan and a working smoke alarm. This provides the early warning needed to put the plan into action. The Fire Action Plan campaign will be repeated in September 2002."

Addressing educational issues. such as the correct installation and maintenance of smoke alarms. This will be addressed through the ministerial initiative partnerships, point of sale information and community information outlets for home safety, family health and similar lifestyle necessities.

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, because of its expertise in this area, is the most obvious agency for involvement with smoke alarms; however, there are others that would have a useful contribution to make. Many of those at risk from fire who do not have smoke alarms are served by a wide range of agencies, such as social services, Age Concern, health visitors, etc. Whilst the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service's role is essential and usually it will be appropriate for the service to take the lead, there are other agencies with a role to play.

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