National Fire Safety Week was officially launched in Dublin Fire Brigade’s Training Centre in the O’Brien Institute, Marino, Dublin 3, by Mr. Paudie Coffey, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government today (6th October).
National Fire Safety Week, 6th – 13th October, jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, is about enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home. The Minister referred to this year’s National Fire Safety Week theme “Protecting those most at Risk from Fire” and said “having smoke alarms fitted is not enough, they must also be in good working order. It is crucial also that you and your family know what to do if a smoke alarm activates”.
“Unfortunately, on average 36 people die in Ireland each year as a result of fire. House fires account for the vast majority of fire fatalities” the Minister continued. Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and these groups account for almost half of the domestic fatalities. “In most of these incidents, a level of fire safety education and awareness could have prevented the loss of life in a fire or limited the damage.” the Minister added. The Minister asked family members, relatives and friends of the vulnerable to ensure they are protected against the risk of fire.
While National Fire Safety Week marks the beginning of an intensive media advertising campaign to run until the Spring, the Minister stated that it was imperative that “public awareness of the dangers of fire be maintained throughout the year”.
Minister Coffey thanked the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for attending the event and for their continued participation. Acknowledging their valuable input, Minister Coffey stated “Improving fire safety is a crucially important element of the work of the fire service and I would like to thank senior fire officers, North and South, and their brigades for increasing their fire safety promotional activities this week to heighten fire safety awareness in our communities”.