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Partnership helps keep communities safe, warm and well

Teams from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and UK Power Networks called on homes in Franklands Village, Haywards Heath, to offer home safety advice and to identify residents who may need extra help and support during a power cut.

From Press releases - 16 January 2017 12:00 AM

Joint winter venture.jpg

Firefighters from Haywards Heath and the WSFRS Crewing Optimisation Group were joined by colleagues from Business Fire Safety, West Sussex County Council’s Resilience and Emergencies Team, Trading Standards and Community Operations in helping residents stay safe, warm and well.
The estate, of 277 homes, was built to provide low cost accommodation for workers in the 1930s.

The teams were able to give direct help and advice to more than 130 households on the day and identified a number of properties they will be returning to for a follow-up visit.

In addition, UK Power Networks, which runs the power distribution networks across most of West Sussex, was able to sign up a number of residents to its Priority Services Register, which can provide extra help and support to those most in need during a power cut.

The visits were especially useful for residents that had medical equipment, or with patients on oxygen, that neither organisation had been aware of; people with limited vision or hearing; and properties where residents had questions about their own fire safety.

UK Power Networks Customer Vulnerability Manager Kerry Potter said: "Working with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was a privilege and really opens doors for us to help people who, during an emergency situation, would be vulnerable. 
“Whether it be installing a smoke alarm, checking a Careline service works, signing people up to our Priority Services Register, or just providing the reassurance of knowing who to call in an emergency, I think we made a real difference to some people's lives."

Chief Fire Officer Lee Neale, who went to see the work being carried last week, said: “Our partnership with UK Power Networks is a great way to engage with communities to provide a wide range of help and support to those who need it.
“We are always keen to find new ways of helping communities to be safe and resilient. Work like this provides a great deal of reassurance to residents and can help prevent incidents from occurring.”

Click to watch the fire service’s short film of the event: