Minister Phelan launches National Fire Safety Week
National Fire Safety Week was officially launched today (1st October) in Dublin Fire Brigade’s Training Centre in the O’Brien Institute, Marino, Dublin 3, by Mr John Paul Phelan, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
National Fire Safety Week, 1-8 October, jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, is about enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home. This year’s National Fire Safety Week theme is “STOP Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives”. The campaign targets households who do not have smoke alarms fitted and encourages everyone to ensure that all smoke alarms are in good working order.
The Minister referred to this year’s National Fire Safety Week theme “STOP Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” and said “now that smoke alarm ownership is becoming the norm we need to push the message further and ask the questions: Do you have at least two working smoke alarms in your accommodation?; Do you test and maintain them regularly?; Would you consider installing more smoke alarms – especially in bedrooms?; Do you know that smoke alarms only work effectively for 10 years?”
“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. “As there are still homes with no smoke alarms, we need to maintain public awareness of the need to install smoke alarms. Most people who die in fires, die from smoke inhalation and not from burns and it can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation” 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, it is imperative that public awareness of the dangers of fire be maintained throughout the year.