The numbers of fires are down in Wellington due to a campaign by firefighters to educate householders about the importance of working smoke alarms.
Firefighters and leaders of the Muslim community living in Wellington have worked together to achieve the success, Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond informed worshippers of the Regent Street mosque during the month of Ramadan.
He praised members for encouraging householders to put up a smoke alarm inside their homes to warn them in the event of fire.
"Ramadan is about the community looking after people that are worse off than themselves and about looking after their neighbours. The fire service has worked with members of the community in fire safety to encourage people, who in turn encourage their neighbours, to take up the offer of a free home visit from a fire officer to ensure they are safe.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond speaks during Friday prayers to celebrate Ramadan at the Regent Street mosque in Wellington.
"This visit to the mosque is part of my desire to keep in touch with many local groups where I also suggest that they should encourage their sons and daughters to join the fire service, which is a caring organisation," said Mr Raymond.
Muhammad Sajid Younis, a multi lingual advocate from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, alongside crews from Wellington station have visited hundreds of homes over the past five years informing householders about fire safety and fitting many smoke alarms.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond (right) with brothers Nadeem (8) and Wasim (10) and their father Wiqas Chohan with fire officer Muhammad Sajid Younis.
Shopkeeper Imran Nawaz said he had continuously supported the campaign over the years and would continue to do so by putting up posters and distributing fire safety brochures and leaflets from his Bank Road shop in Wellington.
"Everyone should have a smoke alarm and ensure that they are working. I would much rather one went off than not to have one at all," said the father-of-three.
Rabinder Singh, Community Fire Safety officer, said that house fires had dropped significantly in the Wellington area due to the community working together with the fire service to encourage the take up of installing smoke alarms and home visits.
Visitors to the mosque were motivated to fill in postcards requesting a home visit
Imam Mufti Sahib said after the visit: "We were very pleased to have a visit from the Chief Fire Officer and we told him that our community is working shoulder to shoulder with the fire service."
Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond and Imam Mufti Sahib