Leonard Cheshire Disability provides services to about 21,000 individuals who have physical or mental impairments, learning disabilities, or brain injuries.

Fire Safety Education Campaign Targets Disabled Londoners

The London Fire Brigade signed an agreement last week with the charitable organization Leonard Cheshire Disability to improve the fire safety of disabled people across the city.

The largest U.K. fire department, the London Fire Brigade, signed an agreement last week with the charitable organization Leonard Cheshire Disability that calls for them to cooperatively provide fire safety education to disabled people living in London. The partner organizations say disabled people, especially those with mobility problems, are more likely to be injured or die if a fire breaks out in their home. The brigade wants to ensure as many disabled people as possible know how to prevent fires and what to do if one occurs.

The city’s firefighters will work with the charity to increase home fire safety visits for this population and to educate caregivers about fire safety and the importance of smoke alarms. Some personnel already have visited Leonard Cheshire Disability's Randall Close Resource Centre in Wandsworth to talk about fire safety, and this brought about their agreement to cooperate throughout the city. "I truly believe that we can save lives with this initiative," said London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson. "Disabled people are more likely to be injured in fires, and we want to reduce that risk by working with Leonard Cheshire Disability. Firefighters will hopefully gain valuable insight into some of the challenges faced by disabled people, which will in turn help us improve the service we offer."

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the largest charitable organization in Britain helping disabled people. It provides services to about 21,000 individuals who have physical or mental impairments, learning disabilities, or brain injuries. Rosemarie Mitchell, a managing director, said the staff "are absolutely delighted to be further strengthening our partnership with the London Fire Brigade. We are looking forward to working together and I am confident that we will raise fire safety awareness levels among disabled people at our services and across the capital. This will also be an opportunity for the firefighters to learn more about how disability can impact on someone's life."

Dobson and Mitchell were among the signers of the memorandum of understanding on Feb. 1.

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