'Safe Refuge' Offer During the Bonfire Period

Merseyside Fire Stations make 'safe havens' offer. 

The Merseyside Fire Service published the following statement on their website yesterday. 

Remember, remember… Merseyside fire stations are community safe havens

Safe haven During the Bonfire period, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is reminding members of the public that they can seek refuge at any Merseyside fire station. 

Over the past four years, all 22 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service stations have signed up to become ‘Safe Havens’. 

In the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night, firefighters deal with more incidents involving deliberately set fires, wheelie bin and skip fires, bonfires and incidents involving the misuse of fireworks. 

This, in combination with the nights drawing in, can leave some people feeling more at risk at this time of year. 

People who feel unsafe or vulnerable to anti-social behaviour (ASB), or who feel they are being pursued or threatened, can head to a fire station where they will see the Safe Haven signs illuminated at night. 

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “At this time of year, we experience a spike in firework and bonfire-related ASB. Anyone feeling at risk of harm related to this anti-social behaviour can go to one of our 22 Safe Havens. 

“Our firefighters are highly trained in first aid and trauma care and so this initiative allows us to serve our communities and protect vulnerable people. This applies at any time of the year, but is particularly relevant now.” 

To access a station, members of the public should ring the bell by the entrance door. If firefighters are not at the station, assistance can be called in an emergency by using the yellow station phone located at the front of the buildings. 

The Safe Haven scheme was launched in Merseyside in January 2011. As well as fire stations, a number of shops, businesses and community buildings have also been designated as Safe Havens.