Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is calling on county residents to remove clutter from their homes if it could hinder them escaping a fire or would make a rescue challenging for firefighters.
This week, 19 – 25 May, is ‘UK Hoarding Awareness Week’ and the service wants to raise awareness of the problem.
In the past year, firefighters spotted significant obstacles in 16 Lincolnshire homes, meaning putting out a fire or rescuing someone could be more complicated.
Karl Turrill, deputy community fire safety manager for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “There can be many reasons why someone might have what many people would call clutter in their homes, often it isn’t their fault. The problem is, hoarding, could significantly increase the possibility of a fire occurring in your home, and it is likely it would spread faster.”
“If we need to go into a house in an emergency, it is vital that we can reach people quickly and fight a fire before it gets worse. Anything blocking a doorway or a hallway could cost us valuable time,” said Karl.
“If you notice that a relative needs some boxes moving, or a friend needs help clearing out a room, please give them a hand, it could greatly improve their chances of being saved from a fire, like having a working smoke alarm.”
According to National statistics from the Chief Fire Officers Association, Up to 3 million people in the UK suffer from a hoarding problem, with many unaware of the impact it has on their life and the lives of others.
In a typical residential home, 90 percent of fires were contained to the room of origin, but in a hoarding home, the figure dropped to 40 percent, indicating that hoarded material encouraged the spread of the fire.
Visit: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/LFR For more information on fire safety at home.