The below service is available to Support at Home services, you can make a referral for the urgent out of hours service for service users displaying the high risk behaviours and vulnerabilities outlined in the criteria below.

Historically, most fire deaths occur with individuals who have both a personal vulnerability (physical or cognitive) affecting their ability to react coupled with a high fire risk behaviours.

The high fire risk activity significantly increases the likelihood of their having a fire and in the event of a fire, their vulnerability preventing them from being able to escape and/or make the necessary 999 call for fire service. It is however still imperative that these individuals have an early warning and that if there were to be a fire, that they have a working smoke detector in place and available equipment that would help reduce the risk of a serious fire.

In the majority of fire fatality cases the occupant did have a working smoke detector but upon activation were unable to respond in an appropriate way. In a number of these cases, the victim was a cigarette smoker and had fallen asleep with a cigarette.

What can Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service provide?

Arson Proof Letter Box is aimed at individuals where a threat of arson has been made against them by another individual or group. These are often used in cases of Domestic Violence where a threat has been made.

Fire Retardant Equipment consists of a range of bedding. This equipment is aimed at vulnerable individuals where they are smoking in bed and there is evidence of cigarette burns in their bedding or that it is felt likely that they might fall asleep (naturally or drink/drug induced, prescribed or otherwise) or simply not be aware that they have dropped a lit cigarette. The bedding will help reduce the risk of a fire starting in their bed.

NB under the British Standards the regulations for bedding and for furniture are different. Due to this, we can only provide ‘bedding’ for the purpose to which it has been designed and tested. That means for use on a bed as opposed to for use on a chair or sofa.


Fire Retardant Equipment, to be provided under the emergency out of hours service or during office hours, the individual should have at least one vulnerability and be demonstrating at least one of the indicated *relevant high fire risk behaviours/activities as per the grid below:

Vulnerabilities could include:High Fire Risk Activities could include the unsafe use of:
Physical disability

Mental health issues/dementia

Special sensory needs

Learning difficulties

Medication affecting mobility

Misuse of alcohol/drugs

Threat of arson attack


Any other vulnerability deemed to inhibit  escape and ability make the necessary 999 call for fire

*Smoking materials – Careless disposal/evidence of cigarette burns (consider  fire retardant bedding)

Heating sources: open fire/portable heaters – Scorch marks on adjacent furniture

Candles or other naked flames used inappropriately

Home oxygen supplies – unsafe use

Propensity to leave cooking unattended


*Threat to arson attack (Consider Arson proof letter box)

Any other high fire risk activities

When is the service available?

As part of their Fire Safety Intervention, Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service’s (HFRS) can provide fire retardant bedding and Arson Proof Letter Boxes where criteria is met. During normal office hours (Mon – Fri 0900 -1700 hours excluding Bank Holidays) referrals for this service must be emailed to  alternatively you may phone the information through to JPS on 01707 292495 but this will require a follow up email from yourselves.

Emergency out of hours: Mon – Fri 1700 – 0900 hours, weekends and bank holidays and where criteria is met. Contact for the urgent request of fire retardant equipment and/or an Arson Proof Letter Box must be made via HFRS’s Fire Control who will take the relevant details and mobilise resources as an urgent requirement.  This will also include checking and where appropriate, fitting or replacing a standard 10 year battery operated smoke detector and a home fire safety assessment.


Where criteria is met you must obtain and provide the following information and telephone it through to HFRS Fire Control on 01438 499003 requesting ‘Assist Fire Safety Issue’ please note that in very busy periods you may need to wait for the call to be answered:-

For the Occupant:

  • Full Name
  • DOB
  • Full Address including Postcode
  • What is the issue/concern? – Vulnerability X High Fire Risk
  • Confirmation that consent has been given by the occupant for this referral and for onward referral.
  • Where cigarette smoking in bed is the issue, is this a single or double bed?

For the Referrer:

  • Your Full Name, Job Title and Agency
  • Your Contact Details (email and telephone number)

HFRS will fit Arson Proof Letter Box and if necessary a smoke detector.  The fire retardant bedding is a drop off service. It is expected that in all cases of a request for an ‘Assist Fire Safety Issue’ that the referring agency will be present at the address to greet and facilitate the visit and where fire retardant bedding has been requested, that agency will help the occupant change the bedding.

Although treated as urgent, this is not a blue light service and depending on availability may take up to approximately 3 hours for delivery.

Any enquiries following the delivery of equipment which are non-urgent should be made via email to: