FIREFIGHTERS in Staffordshire are lending their support to a national campaign highlighting the potential fire hazards caused by hoarding.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has produced a leaflet to coincide with National Hoarding Week, which runs from May 19 until May 25. It is aimed at the families and friends of people who collect and store a large number of items in their homes and includes potentially life-saving advice on how they can help their loved ones stay safe.
They are reminding hoarders that things such as newspapers and mail which is stored in bulk are highly combustible and will cause a fire to spread rapidly. Items which are stacked to a height that could be come unstable also pose a hazard as they could fall and block any potential escape routes. Hoarders are also reminded that cylinders should not be stored in their homes as they are a serious hazard during a fire and that any used for medical purposes should be stored outside. Furthermore, any cooking areas should be kept clear of clutter in order to minimise the risk of a blaze starting.
Head of risk reduction Glynn Luznyj said: “Since 2006 b14 per cent of fatal fires in Staffordshire have involved hoarders.
“They face an increased risk of a blaze breaking out because they have a greater number of combustible materials in their homes and because of this, if a fire did start, it would spread more rapidly.”