Press Release

Callely says “Prevention is the best firefighter” – Fire Safety Week 2002 launched

Ivor Callely, TD Minister for Services for Older People attended the launch of the National Safety Council/Northern Ireland Fire Brigade Fire Safety Week – 2002 at the Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre, Marino, Dublin 3 this morning (4 November).

In his capacity as Minister for Services for Older People he wishes to remind older people of the dangers of fire in their homes and to identify particular areas of risk and basic precautions that might be taken to minimise those risks. The Minister referred to the fact that there were 62 fire fatalities in Ireland in 2001, 26% were over 65 years of age.

Among the leading causes of fire emergencies are smoking in bed, cooking, heating and faults in electrical equipment. Most fires happen at night when people are asleep and smoke, not heat or flames, causes the majority of fire deaths in Ireland.

The Minister stated that “prevention is the best firefighter” and that the risk of fire could be greatly reduced by carrying out a few simple steps, last thing at night

  • Switching off all gas and electrical equipment and unplugging any appliances not in use, before going to bed
  • Placing a spark-guard in front of open fire places
  • Closing the doors of all rooms in the home (to reduce the spread of fire)
  • Checking that all cigarettes ends are safety extinguished
  • Never smoking in bed.

There is an information leaflet on fire safety at home for the older person available from the National Safety Council (www.nsc.ie).