Money ploughed in to fire safety

MORE than £66,500 is being ploughed into fire safety in Suffolk in the next two years, it was revealed today.New grants are being introduced to help the county's fire and rescue service reduce deaths and combat anti-social behaviour to reduce the number of arson attacks.

MORE than £66,500 is being ploughed into fire safety in Suffolk in the next two years, it was revealed today.

New grants are being introduced to help the county's fire and rescue service reduce deaths and combat anti-social behaviour to reduce the number of arson attacks.

The funding is part of an £11.4million government community fire safety scheme, designed to help the country's poorest communities.

It will see more money given in poorer areas where the population is more vulnerable to fires and there is a higher death rate.

Suffolk County Council is receiving £33,322 for the 2006/07 year and the same amount for 2007/08.

So far the county's fire service has appointed a Community Safety Practitioner to head up a team which will carry out home fire risk checks to the more remote areas and communities.

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A programme has also been launched to find ways of delivering fire safety messages to the gypsy and travellers community.

It follows a fatal fire at Ipswich's West Meadows travellers' site in April last year where Rodney Smith, 11, and his three-year-old brother Ben died in a caravan blaze.

Tom Carroll, Chief Fire Officers Association president, said: “The fire and rescue service is doing a magnificent job in creating and implementing imaginative new schemes aimed at improving quality of life within their communities.”

The fire prevention grants have been announced by Jim Fitzpatrick, the minister responsible for fire and rescue issues.

Suffolk County Council is receiving £33,322 for the 2006/07 year and the same amount for 2007/08.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Our substantial investment will support fire and rescue authorities to make continuing reductions in the number of accidental fire deaths in the home and the number of deliberate fires by reaching the deprived households and communities most at risk.”

WEBLINK:

www.odpm.gov.uk

Every year there are more than 40,000 accidental house fires in England, resulting in around 285 deaths and 9,000 injuries

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