London Fire Brigade is set to make a firm commitment to improving the fire safety of disabled people across the capital.  

The brigade is entering into a formal agreement with the charity 'Leonard Cheshire Disability', which will see both organisations working together to target vital fire safety education at disabled people - a group most at risk from fire and its effects.  

People with disabilities, especially those with mobility problems, are more likely to be injured, or even killed if a fire breaks out in their home, says London Fire Brigade. The brigade wants to ensure as many disabled people as possible are aware of how to prevent fires and what to do if a fire does occur.  

By working with 'Leonard Cheshire Disability' across London the Brigade ultimately hopes to reduce the number of fires involving disabled people. Firefighters will work with the charity to increase the number of home fire safety visits carried out at the homes of disabled people and to educate people, and their carers, about fire safety and the importance of smoke alarms.   

London Fire Brigade first started working with the charity when firefighters met with disabled people at the Randall Close Resource Centre in Wandsworth to deliver fire safety awareness. The scheme is to be rolled out across the capital.  

Chairman and Leader of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman, said: "This partnership is about reducing the number of fires affecting some of the most vulnerable people in London. I look forward to building on our work with Leonard Cheshire Disability and to working together to make disabled people safer from fire."  

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said: "I truly believe that we can save lives with this initiative. Disabled people are more likely to be injured in fires and we want to reduce that risk by working with Leonard Cheshire Disability. Firefighters will hopefully gain valuable insight into some of the challenges faced by disabled people, which will in turn help us improve the service we offer."  

Rosemarie Mitchell, a managing director at Leonard Cheshire Disability said: "Following the success of what started as a local initiative at one of our services in Wandsworth, we are absolutely delighted to be further strengthening our partnership with the London Fire Brigade.  

"We are looking forward to working together and I am confident that we will raise fire safety awareness levels among disabled people at our services and across the capital.  

"This will also be an opportunity for the firefighters to learn more about how disability can impact on someone's life."  


Date posted: 03.02.11