London Fire Brigade: Safety visits slash house fire risk for vulnerable people
Vulnerable people are 18 times less likely to have a house fire if they have a safety visit by firefighters, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) says.
Research from 400,000 visits in London over six years estimated safety visits led to 5,000 fires being prevented.
During a home fire safety visit, which is a free service, firefighters offer information on how to prevent fires and fit free smoke alarms where needed.
The LFB said it had identified 700,000 homes at greater risk of having a fire.
Smoking and candles
It said that those identified were usually affected by several "risk factors" including occupants with a disability, with mental health or hearing problems, or those who smoke.
Most fires in the home are caused by cooking, smoking and the use of candles, so safety advice focuses on those issues, as well information on how to escape should a fire break out.
Sarah Hayward, who chairs London Fire Authority's strategy committee, said: "This new research is evidence that the brigade's home fire safety visits are preventing thousands of fires and saving lives, particularly amongst some of the capital's most vulnerable people.
"Joining forces with local councils and other partners has enabled the brigade to reach those most at risk.
"Home fires are devastating so it's vital that this important work continues."