Firefighters from Great Yarmouth’s Fire Station dropped in on a coffee morning for vision impaired people in the town to talk to them about fire safety – and to offer extra assistance to make sure they are safe in their homes.
Ben Mitton, Tom Banks and Larissa Fitzgerald visited Vision Norfolk’s Great Yarmouth hub on Hall Quay to provide advice on how those living with sight loss can protect themselves, and to find out what further measures they could offer vision impaired people.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service offers home fire risk assessments for those living with sight loss, and vision impaired people can also register to ensure that extra assistance is offered in the event of an emergency call.
“As well as ensuring that there is a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home, things like planning an escape route are especially important for blind and vision impaired people,” said Ben Mitton.
“When you dial 999, it is important to let the operator know if you are vision impaired. They will then let the fire crew know, and stay on the line with you until they arrive.”
Vision Norfolk’s Great Yarmouth hub co-ordinator Ed Bates, who is himself blind, said, “Most vision impaired people live independently in their own homes, and so ensuring those homes are safe is paramount.
“The advice which Ben, Tom and Larissa provided was really useful and much appreciated by those attending the event, and it’s reassuring to know that our fire service is looking out for people living with sight loss.”
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has produced a special publication on fire safety for people with sight, hearing or mobility issues, which includes a number of specific tips, such as placing a tactile indicator along an escape route to make it easier to find the exit. This leaflet is available to download from the NFRS website at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1097046/Sight__Hearing_Mobility_-_Web_accessible__Updated_.pdf.