FIRE officers visited 685 vulnerable people to fit smoke alarms and give them tips about preventing accidental fires since April 2019.

As part of its ‘do you know a Charlie?’ scheme, people from the fire service visit people who are vulnerable for a range of reasons, including being elderly, having addiction issues, mental health, living alone or hoarding tendencies.

Cllr Peter Hutton said: “It seems a wonderful scheme with a lot of input. It is something we should be promoting. We have health and adult social care area boards that can spread the message.”

Ian Jeary of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire service said: “82 per cent of our dwelling fires were from high risk or very high risk homes. We fit smoke detectors and fit carbon monoxide alarms all free of charge carried out by safe and well advisors. We have two new starters who carry out this work in Devizes and Bradford on Avon.”

Jim Mahoney, chief fire officer at the fire service added: “160,000 people across the service area would tick one or more boxes to be classed in the Charlie scheme. We clearly cannot get to everyone but we it is important we review our targeting strategy to make sure we reach those with a combination of those risk factors most at risk.”

“Looking at accidental dwelling fires and our assessments from 12 months ago show we are sitll being accurate in the people we are targetting.”