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Legendary NI goalkeeper Pat Jennings backing safety message for over-50s

Pat Jennings is backing the message to over-50s on Fire Safety Week. Credit: NIFRS

Former Northern Ireland Goalkeeper Pat Jennings has teamed up with Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) to highlight the added risk from fire to people aged 50 and over.

87%
of people who died in accidental house fires in last 4 years were aged 50 and over

This striking statistic, released as part of North South Fire Safety Week 2019, has prompted NIFRS to reduce their ‘People at Risk’ from fire age to those aged 50 and over. Previously it covered anyone aged 60 and over.

Pat Jennings, 74, has come on board as a new Community Safety Ambassador to help raise awareness among that demographic about the importance of fire safety in the home.

He said: “I’m really pleased to be working with NIFRS to help kick off Fire Safety Week and raise awareness of fire safety in the home. Like over 30% of our wee country, I fall into that age demographic of 50 and over, who are most at risk from fire.

“I think it’s really important that we are all aware of simple fire safety steps we can take to help keep our home safe from fire, and what help is available for people like me.”

Organised in partnership with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management in the Republic of Ireland, North South Fire Safety Week aims to promote fire safety, with the ultimate goal of zero accidental fire deaths and will be officially launched by the Lord Mayor of Belfast John Finucane at a special ceremony in Belfast Central Fire Station on Monday..

“This Fire Safety Week I would like to encourage you to check in with your older neighbours and family members, and with those who are more at risk from fire.

– Alan Walmsley, NIFRS
Pat Jennings has been named community safety ambassador for NIFRS. Credit: NIFRS

This year’s theme is ‘Safer Together’ and the focus is on how NIFRS works with partner organisations to help keep people safe from fire, and also how the community can support each other and NIFRS to help STOP fire.

Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Director Service Delivery, explains: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with Pat Jennings as our new Community Safety Ambassador to help save lives from fire. Twenty-seven of the 31 people (87%) who lost their lives in accidental fires in the last 4 years were aged 50 and over, prompting us to lower our ‘People at Risk’ age group.

“Many of this age group will remember the legendary Pat Jennings for his heroics in goals for Northern Ireland. He will be a great ambassador to allow us reach even more people at risk to help protect our community this Fire Safety Week and beyond.

“This Fire Safety Week I would like to encourage you to check in with your older neighbours and family members, and with those who are more at risk from fire. If you are concerned about their safety, arrange a free home fire safety check for them via our website. Together we can achieve our goal of zero accidental fire deaths. One life lost is one too many.”