Nurses and firefighters unite to show they #HaveAHeart for older people this Winter

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Dewsbury firefighters have joined forces with NHS staff at Dewsbury and District Hospital in support of the Cherished Campaign.

The Cherished Campaign was re-launched exactly one month ago (November 1) asking people to pledge to visit three older relatives, neighbours or friends who may be potentially vulnerable during the Winter months.

Over the last five years WYFRS firefighters have attended 234 accidental fires in the homes of people over pensionable age in the Kirklees District alone – resulting in 79 injuries.

The Cherished Campaign is not just about fire safety but also health and wellbeing.

WYFRS is developing a new home visit programme that will continue to give advice on fire safety within the home but it will also look to identify any concerns such as frailty and falls, social isolation, winter cold, smoking cessation and people who may be susceptible to crime.

Basic support and advice will be offered with a plan to also link people to support agencies if they need more help.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Chris Kirby said: “We know that older people are more at risk of having a fire in the home, especially if they live alone.

“There’s often more than just one contributory factor and we are linking up with our partners in the health sector to help keep older people as safe as possible.

“If an older person receives an injury from fire they generally do not recover, and bounce back, in the same way a younger person may do and this is another reason we are asking the public to help us by looking out for older people in the home this Winter.”

David Melia, Director of Nursing and Quality, at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “At this time of year it is more important than ever to look in on our elderly relatives, friends and neighbours.

“When the weather is cold it can often be difficult for them to get out and about to stock up on essentials, a quick trip to the shops for them or stopping by to see how they are doing, can make all the difference.

“Last winter we saw some admissions to our hospitals which could potentially have been avoided. If we each take the time to cherish those who need support then we can all stay fit and well this winter.”

Dewsbury Station Commander Paul Austin added: “Older generations are most vulnerable over the Winter months, so we encourage friends, neighbours and relatives to look out for the elderly.

“If you have any concerns you can contact West Yorkshire Fire Service for a free Home Fire Safety Check which will be tailored to you and your home. Please everyone, do your bit and extend the hand of friendship and kindness to older people this Winter.”

A recent ‘Stay Safe’ event at Skelmanthorpe fire station, aimed at the over 60’s, was very well attended by the local community. Partner agencies, including Age UK, West Yorkshire Police and the British Heart Foundation gave presentations, all aimed at keeping older people safer in the home.

To watch our top tips for a safe Winter click here

The Fire Service also supports the Age UK Campaign ‘No-one should have no-one at Christmas’.

For a FREE Home Fire Safety Check call 0800 5874536 or book online here


Last winter (between October 2015 and March 2016) WYFRS staff carried out over 7,000 safety checks in the homes of the over 65s across West Yorkshire.

Key tips

  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Smoking whilst drinking alcohol is a fire hazard
  • Never smoke in bed and be aware if medication makes you drowsy
  • Always use a non-combustible ashtray and fully extinguish cigarettes
  • Get your electric blanket tested before Winter
  • Eat well to stay well this winter
  • Grab rails and walking aids may reduce the likelihood of a fall
  • Keep the home warm – ideally around 21 degrees in the living room and 18 degrees in bedroom
  • Have a bedtime routine and ensure you know your escape route should fire break out
  • Always have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Accidental Dwelling Fires (ADFs) in homes of people over pensionable age 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Bradford 58 67 60 60 58
Calderdale 25 20 27 19 21
Kirklees 57 49 43 42 43
Leeds 86 107 90 73 74
Wakefield 38 12 26 35 21
Grand Total 264 255 246 229 217


The below figures cover the last five years and show causes of Accidental Dwelling Fires (ADFs) in homes of people over pensionable age in Kirklees District only

Causes of ADFs in Kirklees district – in homes of people over pensionable age   Injuries  
Other Cooking 122 38  
Smoking 23 6  
Other electrical appliance/leads 22 5  
Chip Pan 18 13  
Electrical distribution 15 4  
Space heating appliances 15 7  
Other cause 11 1  
Naked flame/candles etc 3 0  
Electric blanket 3 1  
Blowlamps/welding etc 1 3  
Not known 1 1  
Total 234 79  


For more information on the Cherished Campaign visit or follow us on Twitter @WYFRS #WYCherished #KindnessInACuppa #HaveAHeart

Alternatively check out the campaign on our Facebook page where you can ‘like and share’ the Cherished animation to pledge to support older people this Winter.