Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 15:52 UK

Survival bags for rough sleepers

Vulnerable adults living rough in Wiltshire are to be provided with street survival bags by the county's fire service.

The waterproof backpacks include a smoke detector, a tin for cigarette ends, a wind-up lantern, survival blanket and sleeping bag.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will give out 40 bags to homeless adults in Trowbridge as part of the new scheme.

The smoke detectors reduce the risk for those who sleep in derelict buildings.

'Fatal fire'

Steve Williams, of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We have attended a number of fires in derelict buildings which have been used as refuges by the homeless, and there was a fatal fire involving a homeless man in Warminster just two years ago.

"Everything we're providing in the bags has been discussed with the people who will be using them. For example, it was their feedback that led to us providing a smoke detector.

Ali Coxall, from the Alabaré drop-in centre, said: "This is a fantastic initiative by the fire service, and something that we think could be unique. The street survival bags will reduce the risk of fire for our clients when they are sleeping rough."

The fire service will give out the survival bags on 16 October at 1500 BST at Trowbridge fire station.

Homeless co-ordinator appointed
18 Mar 07 |  Wiltshire
Drop-in centres given cash boost
27 May 07 |  Wiltshire

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