Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) has given away free smoke alarms in Merseyside since 1999. However, since January 2012, due to budget cuts, MF&RS 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, MF&RS is able to offer a not for profit service to provide smoke alarms, which is delivered by our charity partner Fire Support Network.
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.
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
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
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
- 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.