Firefighters create realistic rescue scenario to mark Hoarding Awareness Week

Devastating affects of fire in a hoarded property.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be marking the first ever UK Hoarding Awareness Week (19 to 25 May) through creating a realistic rescue situation at a mock hoarded property at SkillZONE, Gloucester at 3:30pm today, Tuesday 20th May.

In the last financial year three out of five fire-related deaths in the county involved hoarding. Hoarding is therefore an important issue to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in terms of the fire risk it has on: hoarders, their families, nearby residents and the firefighters who rescue them.

This afternoon a realistic rescue situation will be set up in the sitting room at SkillZONE’s house which has been specifically used to hoard possessions. Journalists are invited to be rescued so they can see how difficult it is to enter and escape these properties in the event of a fire.

Gloucestershire’s Chief Fire Officer, Stewart Edgar says; “Hoarding poses a very real danger to our local communities as the nature of fire in a hoarded house is highly unpredictable and spreads much quicker.”

“We want to use this week to raise awareness and understanding of hoarding so we can work with residents and agencies to highlight the fire hazards associated with hoarding and try to reduce those risks.”

UK Hoarding Awareness Week 2014 was devised by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) to increase understanding of issues relating to hoarding with the aim of making the community and firefighters safer.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is calling on local residents to get in touch if they know someone who may be vulnerable and at risk of fire because of hoarding by emailing vulnerablereferrals@glosfire.gov.uk .

For more information on the CFOA organised week visit: www.cfoa.org.uk/hoardingawarenessweek2014 and on twitter #UKHoardAware2014 is being used.

For advice and help with hoarding visit www.apdo-uk.co.uk or http://www.helpforhoarders.co.uk/