A Safe and Well Visit is a free service carried out by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. It involves a pre-arranged visit to your home to offer advice on how to make it safer and, where appropriate, fit smoke alarms or other specialist fire detection equipment free of charge.
Visits are tailored to the specific needs of the household - they normally last between 30-45 minutes. The fire service personnel who visit always carry identification.
Part of the advice we can give is around smoking and e-cigarette safety.
2 Smoking and e-cigarettes
Sadly, many fire deaths are caused by carelessness while smoking. This is one of the areas we can offer advice during our Safe and Well Visit.
- Falling asleep with a lit cigarette or pipe can cause a serious fire so never smoke in bed.
- Never empty ashtrays into the bin unless you are sure that they are fully extinguished.
- Never smoke near flammable liquids.
- Don't leave matches or lighters where children can access them.
- Have a smoke detector installed in your home and check it regularly.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices which simulate tobacco smoking by vaporising a liquid solution into an aerosol mist. They contain lithium-ion batteries which can cause fires due to overcharging, physical damage or defects within them.
There are also a number of unbranded e-cigarette chargers available to consumers, many of which are non-compliant with safety regulations. Specific risks found with these chargers include:
- lack of instructions
- overheating of the charger
- non-conformity of the plug
- electric shock via the secondary parts
- wiring not mechanically retained.
- Only purchase e-cigarettes from a reputable source.
- Always use the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
- Only use the charger supplied with your device.
- Don't leave e-cigarettes unattended while they are charging.
- When charging, keep the e-cigarette and battery pack away from soft furnishings or combustible materials.
- Unplug the battery pack once fully charged and remove the battery.
- Do not 'mix and match' components from different e-cigarette manufacturers.
- Don't over tighten a battery on to the charger - plug the charger in first, then gently screw the battery in until the light on the charger flashes - then stop.
If you would like to quit smoking, visit our help pages to find useful tips and advice.
We offer visits to individuals and groups within our communities most in need. You may be eligible if you:
- are aged 65 or over
- are a lone adult/ parent with young children
- are a high-rise resident
- have a permanent disability
- have permanent mobility difficulties
- have a Careline/Lifeline
- cannot hear a standard smoke alarm and live alone.
There is also a DIY checklist that you can complete if you are not eligible for a free visit.
4 Request a visit
If you're concerned that your home may be at risk of fire, or you know someone who you think needs our help, you can request a Safe and Well Visit.