Page 14 - Hot News October 2014
P. 14
Helping Hands Help Man
A man who is registered blind and deaf has had focused fire safety advice and support as part of our Service’s work to protect those who are more vulnerable if a fire were to occur where they live.
The man had a flat in an independent living facility and over six years has had seven separate instances when he has set off the smoke alarms due to either smoking habits or unsafe cooking.
The man requires a particular type of interpreter who scribes on the palm of his hand, known as Hands On Signing. Fire Safety Advice has been given in the past utilising the previous independent living
facility manager’s ability to use Hands On Sign.
Advocate Chris Murphy, from the Liverpool North Prevention Team, said: “After the man had two incidents close together, it was decided by MF&RS and the current independent living facility manager that he required some more, fresh fire
safety advice. Also it was deemed beneficial to involve the man’s sister who was visiting Merseyside at this time,
Social Services and the Merseyside Society for Deaf People (MSDP), who all provide support for the man, and outline
our concerns to them to better allow them to assess his risk, needs and the support being provided to him.
“A meeting was held with all
of these groups and people and a discussion revolved around what could be done to assist the man. Working together with the Equality and Diversity team at our
Service, I was able to provide a ‘Hands On’ signing interpreter and so MF&RS was able to communicate specific advice to the man on how to reduce the risk of fire within the home and establish a speedy and effective signal for firefighter communication to the man in case he needed to evacuate the flat.
“Operational crews have been informed about the sign/signal required to be given to the man in the event of an emergency or evacuation so he will understand and comply with physical direction.”
Chris added: “Due to our work, the man has a greater understanding of the dangers of fire in the home and
how to reduce the risk of an incident. He now knows how a firefighter will communicate with him should the need arise for him to be moved or evacuated in
the event of a fire.
“Fire retardant equipment, including a fire retardant throw and metal bin, have been issued
to help reduce the risk of fires starting involving cigarettes. Other partners are
also looking at arranging for newer cooking appliances to be used at
the flat to make it easier for the man to use these to cook food.”
The interpreter who visited the man as part of the Home Fire
Safety Check was found by the charity Merseyside Society for Deaf People. For more information on the charity’s work go to:
Advocate Chris Murphy gives fire safety advice at an event at the Heritage and Education Centre. Photo: Lyndsay Young.
A woman was given oxygen by firefighters after a fire started in the kitchen of a house in St Helens.
A fire appliance from Eccleston Community Fire Station attended the call-out along with fire appliances from
St Helens and Huyton. Firefighters extinguished the fire, which involved a pan of food, and requested an ambulance to check a woman.
Watch Manager Phil Hart, who attended the call-out with White Watch from Eccleston, said: “Firefighters
rapidly deployed into the house to tackle the fire and to stop it spreading any further. There was a lot of smoke when firefighters entered the property.
“The suspected cause of the fire was a pan on an electric hob, which had been switched on by accident. Smoke alarms were present and activated, raising the alarm and alerting people.”
The call-out was on the afternoon of September 24 near Owen Street.

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