Liverpool City Fire Station is to become a safe haven for people who feel threatened. It is one of around 30 centres joining an innovative scheme to help vulnerable people.
When someone arrives at the safe haven, staff will take positive action to help them - whether it is locking their premises, calling a family member or the police.
Area Manager Phil Garrigan, said: "The fire service is at the heart of the neighbourhood and is trusted by local residents. It seems natural that we would be a part of a community project like this that is helping to make areas safer and stronger."
Liverpool is the first city outside London to set up safe havens where businesses and organisations offer premises for people needing assistance. All those involved will display a highly prominent, illuminated sign that is visible from a distance.
It is being set up in the County Road/Walton, Kirkdale, Anfield and Everton neighbourhoods by CitySafe, which is the Community Safety Partnership made up of agencies such as the council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, health, police, housing associations and neighbourhood groups.
Each CitySafe Haven has been subject to a security assessment by Crime Reduction Officers and will be brought up to a high security standard free of charge. This ensures that anyone seeking refuge, once inside, will be safe.
Training is underway for all staff, which includes operating a CitySafe Haven. All local schools will hold a CitySafe Havens assembly over the coming weeks to raise awareness of the initiative. In addition to this, all local sheltered accommodation will be visited to inform them of the scheme.
Across London there are more than 200 safe havens. They were set up in memory of Jimmy Mizen, who was killed in a bakery in South East London.
Date posted: 03.01.11