Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed the confirmation that £278,000 of Government funding is being granted to Swindon.
The money is from the Controlling Migration Fund, which aims to help ease the pressures on local services – such as housing, school and health – as a result of recent migration.
Swindon Borough Council applied for support following a fatal fire in Manchester Road last November, in which two people tragically lost their lives.
Group Manager Glyn Moody, Deputy Area Commander for Swindon, said: “After this fire, the Service carried out a huge amount of community safety work in the immediate area, visiting homes, fitting smoke detectors, and making sure that both residents and businesses had access to the information they needed to stay safe.
“However, we knew that there were many more households within the Broad Green community that we hadn’t been able to reach, so we started to work with the Council to see how we could overcome that. This new funding will see four Council-employed advisors working closely with our own Safe & Well team, especially targeting people living in houses of multiple occupation.”
The team will offer free fire detection equipment and targeted welfare adaptations, and provide support to enable individuals to remain living independently in safe conditions. They will also offer key safety advice to landlords, and enforcement action will be taken where necessary, either by the Council or the Fire and Rescue Service.
Mr Moody said: “In the days and weeks immediately after the tragic fire in Manchester Road, we were able to reach hundreds of homes and, in fact, another fire at an address elsewhere in Broad Green was detected quickly and contained when smoke alarms activated just a few weeks after we had installed them. This new partnership with the Council will enable us to bring similar support to so many households in this area of Swindon, and potentially lives will be saved as a result.”
Any household in the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service area can apply for a free Safe & Well visit – for more information, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safe-and-well-visits or call 0800 038 2323.