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TRIO's first Fire Safety Afternoon

TRIO's first Fire Safety Afternoon

What a roller coaster it has been in the last few days. On 20th September I was invited to a forum held by Kit Malthouse MP, the Minister for Housing, to discuss the Government’s new green paper on social housing. The following morning I attended Together Housing’s Fire Safety Policy Group meeting and today it was TRIO’s first event to promote Fire Safety in the block flats where I live.

I was thankful for the generous support from Together Housing who made a new ‘spot the hazards’ video and provided a projector and refreshments. I was also grateful to have Karina from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service playing an active part.

I was really anxious that nobody would come as Tuesday afternoon is Access Bus day to Asda, but it was the only time Karina was available. I felt it was important to run this test event so I could see if it was informative and productive.

We opened by introducing what the event was trying to achieve before Karina gave a five minute talk about Fire Safety. This led on to watching six one minute videos produced by Together Housing and the Fire Service. Karina ended this with a Q & A session about the videos. I was surprised how diverse the questions were - the videos had worked and made people think about Fire Safety.

Coffee, tea and biscuits then appeared whilst I explained a poster asking tenants how they would get out of their flat if the Fire Service knocked on their door and asked them to leave. I believe when people are asked on a 1-2-1 basis about themselves, and they understand that only the information needed is shared with the Fire Service, people open up more.

It was explained that the Fire Service have a ‘Turn Out’ record for some properties. The information on the system only gives the number of the flat or house and states that the occupant can’t get out safely on their own. This could also include the occupant’s use of oxygen.

Out of the fourteen tenants present, four said they would need help to get out. They also took forms for their friends who they thought would have difficulty. This is the essence of TRIO - people sharing news with their friends to help them.

A ‘spot the hazards’ video quiz turned everyone into competitive mode, all trying to spot as many as they could. There was an obvious pride in being top and not to mention, boxes of chocolates to the winners!

There was an opportunity for feedback at the end. The consensus was that the afternoon was fun and informative. It was requested that a more graphic video about how quick fire can spread would be a great idea. It could be followed by a video of an actual fire test of the fire doors to show how well they stand up to fire.

The afternoon was a great success. It showed that there is definitely a need to get closer to people so they can be helped. TRIO isn’t just concerned about fire safety, it is a voice for isolation, loneliness, debt, substance abuse, ill health and dementia… the list could be endless. Together we can do so much more than we can individually.  

If you would like to get in touch, or be a part of TRIO where you live, please email: trio@togetherhousing.co.uk

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Justin is a tenant of Together Housing living in a high rise block of flats in Halifax

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