FIREFIGHTERS have been receiving healthcare training in a bid to help them warn residents of the dangers of smoking and drinking excess alcohol.
It is all part of a fire safety campaign urging people to take greater care.
The training sessions include stop-smoking support, alcohol awareness - including raising awareness of daily alcohol limits - and respiratory care.
It comes after a spate of serious house fires across County Durham where discarded cigarettes and excessive consumption of alcohol were both found to be common factors in causing fires.
To help members of the public remember the advice given, firefighters will offer them an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card, which has a space for contact numbers for next of kin in case of an emergency.
The card also contains details of health care organisations, including support for smokers.
Michael Corfield, a crew manager at Peterlee Fire Station, said: “The training is proving helpful in making people more aware of the dangers associated with smoking in the home if cigarettes aren’t properly extinguished.
“Excessive alcohol consumption too is a real problem and it is our aim to encourage people to reduce how much alcohol they drink so not only can they live healthier lives but they do so more safely as well.”
Funding has been provided by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and Balance, the North-East alcohol watchdog.