West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service hosted a community safety information day in Littlehampton on Saturday (November 7).
The event was arranged following a serious house fire on Harwood Road in October which claimed the life of 76-year old Josephine Ann Cheshire. The fire, which took more than twenty firefighters to extinguish, is believed to have started accidentally as a result of smoking.
Littlehampton firefighters and Community Fire Safety Officers spent the day on Harwood Road chatting to people about fire safety and offering practical tips on how to stay safe in their homes, including advice on reducing the risk of a smoking-related fire.
During the course of the day, which ran from 10am until 3pm, safety officers and fire crews carried out 21 Home Safety Visits for residents in the area and fitted 14 smoke detectors in homes that were unprotected.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Arun District Manager Mark Swanton, who organised the information day, said:
"Whenever there is a serious fire in any close-knit community, it is understandably a very distressing experience for everyone. Giving advice and reassurance on staying safe in the home is central to our prevention work.
"Sadly, smoking is still the most frequent cause of fire deaths in the home, both nationally and here in West Sussex, so we will continue to work with our partners to reduce the harm caused by smoking."
“We’d also like to remind people that our free Home Safety Visit service is available to any West Sussex resident who is over the age of 65 or who has a disability.”
To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for a Home Safety Visit Call 0845 872 9719 or visit our home safety advice pages.
For advice and support on quitting smoking call 0300 100 1823 or visit www.smokefreewestsussex.co.uk