Utilities join forces with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to offer extra support

Top row: Gary Wiseman (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service), bottom row: Graeme Laird (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service), David Munro (SGN) and Shona Horn (SSEN).

The electricity and gas network operators for the north of Scotland are joining forces with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to help make homes safer.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and SGN will be teaming up with fire crews to highlight the extra help available for vulnerable electricity and gas customers of both companies.

Building on an existing partnership, Scottish Fire and Rescue teams carrying out home fire safety visits in Moray and Aberdeenshire will promote SSEN’s Priority Services Register which provides dedicated 24-hour support, priority updates before and during a power cut, and offers extra help where required including support for vital medical equipment. 

They will also recommend SGN’s locking cooker valve, a free safety device designed to help keep people living in vulnerable circumstances gas safe in their own homes.

Every hour of every day there’s a house fire in Scotland and to help combat potential incidents before they happen, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety visits to help people spot possible fire hazards and organise potentially life-saving fire escape plans. Their teams also provide advice and guidance and fit smoke alarms free of charge if needed.

Shona Horn, Customer Relationship Manager for SSEN’s North Caledonia region (North East and Shetland) at SSEN, said:

“This invaluable relationship with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service helps us identify people who may benefit from free support from our teams, ensuring those who need extra help during a power cut are provided details of our free Priority Services Register.

“Partnering with SGN and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service means we can all work together to help keep our customers and communities safe in Moray and Aberdeenshire.”

Pamela Goee, Head of Community at SGN, added:

“Our locking cooker valve is especially suited for people that live with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but we’ve also fitted valves for families that have children with autism. It’s for anyone that may be in a vulnerable circumstance who could potentially use the cooker in an unsafe way. No matter what you do with the knobs on the cooker itself, no gas will unintentionally pass through to the cooker meaning it can’t fill the property with gas. It also means you can’t put an electric kettle on the hob and set fire to it, or put on empty pans to be left to burn dry.”

Graeme Laird, Station Manager for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Aberdeenshire and Moray, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and SGN in supporting our home fire safety visits and highlighting the SGN safety locking cooker valve within the kitchen environment.

“These simple but effective devices can contribute to a reduction in accidental dwelling fires within the most vulnerable homes while also reducing unintentional harm at home and are fitted directly by SGN engineers.

“Home fire safety visits are a cornerstone of our prevention efforts and have contributed to a marked decrease in fire incidents during the past decade.

“Our firefighters will visit your home to identify any hazards. They will also assist in developing an escape plan as well as supply and install smoke detectors for free if required.

“We are here to help everyone stay safe within the home, but we are particularly keen to support the most vulnerable and elderly within our communities. That is why we appeal to everyone to check if their elderly relatives, friends or neighbours are in need of this vital support – and to contact us directly.”

Utilities Join Forces With The Scottish Fire And Rescue Service 3

Further information:

SSEN’s Priority Services Register

SSEN’s customers can join the PSR if they are dependent on electricity for home medical care, have a chronic illness or short-term medical needs, are disabled, have special communication needs, are over the age of 60, have a child under the age of five at home or for any other reason feel they may need extra support during a power cut.

For more information on SSEN’s Priority Services Register, please visit ssen.co.uk/Priority Services, or to register call 0800 294 3259 or 0800 316 5457 to register using a text phone.

SGN’s locking cooker valve

SGN’s locking cooker valve is fitted to existing gas cooker pipework. When the valve is locked, the gas supply to the cooker is stopped. This eliminates the risk of the cooker being unintentionally turned on or left on, and gives peace of mind to the carer or relative that the cooker can’t be used when they leave the house or the room. The carer or relative can easily turn the valve on using the key when the cooker is required, enabling the person in their care to continue to use their gas cooker safely.

This free, simple safety device helps people retain their independence at home and provides reassurance to family, friends and carers. To find out more or make a referral, visit sgn.co.uk/lcv.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service home fire safety visits

Free home fire safety visits from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service only take around 20 minutes – those 20 minutes might just save your life. A visit can be organised at a time that suits you, day or night. The Service would also like community members to think about anyone they know who could be at risk from fire.

To book a free home fire safety visit for you, or for someone you know, call 0800 0731 999, text FIRE to 80800 or visit firescotland.gov.uk.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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