- FIREFIGHTERS from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is urging householders to take the opportunity to spring clean to help make their homes hazard free.
High levels of clutter make it much easier for a fire to start and can increase the chances of a fire spreading throughout the home.
Clutter can also make it very difficult to escape a fire, especially if items are piled high and blocking exit routes.
As well as potentially trapping people in their homes in the event of fire, hoarded combustible materials such as newspapers, magazines, wood, books and flammable liquids would make it easy for a fire to spread quickly.
Since 2012, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has been called to 26 fires across Merseyside where hoarding hindered rescue attempts by fire crews.
In 2016, a fire caused by a fan heater saw two elderly people tragically lose their lives after fire spread quickly through their Liverpool home due to extensive hoarding of items.
Ian Mullen, Incident Investigator for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Hoarders are at very high risk of fires in the home. Not only can hoarding make it difficult, or impossible, to escape in the event of a fire but it also makes it more difficult for firefighters to access a property and extinguish the fire inside.
“Hoarding is a problem that can develop in households over years and by the time people recognise there is a problem they may feel they are out of their depth or unable to make their homes safer.
“If anyone is concerned they may be at higher risk of fire due to hoarding, or know of someone who is, they should contact Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958 for free home fire safety advice.”