A MAJOR campaign to help people stay warm and safe in their home during the cold winter will be launched in Hartlepool next week.
The Stay Safe and Warm campaign is being spearheaded by Cleveland Fire Brigade that aims to raise awareness of the dangers in people’s homes and the help that is available.
A high-profile launch of this year’s drive will lake place at Hartlepool’s One Life Centre in Park Road on Monday.
Phil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s director of community protection, said: “Tragically, cold weather kills thousands of people across the UK each year.
“Together with our partners we are committed to doing everything we possibly can to identify those who are at risk and help keep them safe and warm in their own homes.
“There is lots of free, friendly advice and support available and we are urging people to get in touch with us straight away if they are worried that they or someone they know may not be able to heat their home properly or safely. Please don’t delay.”
The brigade says over 25,000 people in the UK die each year because faulty heating or worries about the cost of fuel mean they do not keep warm enough.
The use of cheaper and less safe forms of heating can also cause fires.
The campaign is particularly aimed at reaching the most vulnerable groups such as older people, single parents with children, people with disabilities or mental health issues and those with a long-term illness.
Last year’s campaign helped 619 people across Teesside, a 50 per cent increase on the year before.
Other project partners are Age UK Teesside, hospital trusts and Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland councils.
They work to identify people who are most at risk and give them advice and support ranging from organising safe, temporary heating to putting people in touch with specialist guidance on managing their fuel bills.
They can also help arrange for free boiler repairs or replacements where necessary.
Last year, 437 electric heaters, 86 thermal blankets and 43 electric blankets were loaned out to people.
To contact the Stay Safe and Warm team, call (01429) 874063 or visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/warm
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