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Shropshire WI members appreciated for carrying out "vital" fire prevention work

Published on 10 April 2014
Catherine Evans and Angela Flowers from Neen Savage WI have been spreading the smoke alarm message

Shropshire WI members have been praised for carrying out "vital" fire prevention work in rural parts of the county in partnership with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

They are out and about in their local communities checking for anyone who does not have a working smoke alarm in their home - a potential lifesaver in a house fire.

A total of 20 Women's Institute groups in the county answered the call from fire officers last year to help them in their efforts to ensure every home has a smoke alarm which works.

Recently Station Manager Guy Williams thanked them for their strong support and willingness to help which involves home visits, knocking on doors and passing on crucial information about the importance of smoke alarms.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed it. As a WI, it is good for us to get out and do something. We are very pleased to be a part of this," said retired special needs teacher Angela Flowers (59).

"We have knocked on lots of doors, talked to many people and met some that we did not know. We've also enjoyed tea and cakes. But as well as meeting the community we are helping people to test their smoke alarms or remind them that they must have them."

Members of every WI receive basic training from fire officers so that they can complete a brief safety checklist with householders and pass details to the Safety in the Community team if smoke alarms need fitting. They also hand out a booklet with fire prevention advice.

"We asked the WI if they could helps us raise awareness about the importance of smoke alarms in April last year because we all know what excellent links they have with their communities, especially in rural areas," said Guy.

A number of vulnerable residents had been referred for extra help which have been followed up with visits from the brigade's Safety in the Community Team.

He particularly praised members of Neen Savage WI, near Cleobury Mortimer in South Shropshire who have visited more than 40 properties in their area.

"Very quickly Neen Savage WI became the forerunners for our new partnership and with some basic training and appropriate supplies the ladies were soon out and about in the local community establishing who had or had not got a working smoke alarm.

"This work is vital to reducing the risk of fire especially in more remote areas of the county. Angela Flowers and Catherine Evans from Neen Savage WI have been hugely supportive and the WI has helped to shape the way this partnership works."

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service works with a number of other community linked organisations to help reduce the risk of house fires which are continuing to fall.

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