CHESHIRE firefighters were welcomed into the homes of more than 800 over 65-year-olds during this year’s safety day.

Staff headed to Ryfields retirement village, Orford, as well as visiting residents across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington to carry out home safety assessments and ensure residents would be safe over winter.

The ‘get set for winter’ event included guides to staying warm over the cold snap after figures revealed 3,400 people died in the north west last year due to the effects of the cold weather.

Clr John Joyce, chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority, helped out on the day.

He said: "It has been a fantastic success and a real pleasure to take part in such an exciting initiative.

“Cheshire Fire’s community safety work and the impact it is having on saving lives is truly inspirational."

A target of 1,000 houses had been set for the initiative but the team fell short after being called to a number of incidents on the day.

Crews, community safety staff, support staff and managers, fire cadets, volunteers and colleagues from a range of partner organisations including Age UK took part on the day.

Paul Hancock, Cheshire Fire’s chief fire officer, said: "The whole service pulled together to complete 859 home safety assessments and this shows our commitment to reducing the number of fires in the home.

“This is the third Cheshire safety day the service has co-ordinated but we couldn't do it without the help of our partners who also took part in the event and our thanks go to them and members of the public who took the time to talk to us and let us into their homes.”