FIREFIGHTERS are helping viewers tackle the digital TV switchover.
Sunderland fire officers have pledged to lend a hand to residents confused by the plans.
With only six weeks to go to switchover, Fire Officers Ian Allsop and Ian Cuskin, from Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue Service, are urging people to think of someone they know who may need help switching to digital and telling them about the scheme.
Staff from the service are spreading the word to residents when they visit homes to carry out safety checks and handing out leaflets which contain information on how to get in touch.
Events are also taking place across Wearside to promote the BBC-run scheme.
Yesterday, a special advice day was held at Houghton Library, with a similar event planned at the City Library in Fawcett Street on Tuesday, August 14, from 10am-2pm.
By lending a hand, the fire service is making sure older and disabled people know about the help they could get to convert one of their TV sets to digital in time for switchover in September.
Ian Cuskin, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager, said: “We regularly carry out home safety checks when we visit older and disabled people who may be more at risk of fire in their homes – and we’re delighted to spread the word about the Switchover Help Scheme as part of these visits.
“At the same time, the Switchover Help Scheme team is helping us to keep people safer from fire by handing out fire safety information when they are out and about helping residents with the switchover.
“Working in partnership like this means we are able to spread all-important fire safety messages to as wide an audience as possible.”
The Pontop Pike transmitter serving Tyne and Wear and County Durham will begin to switch to digital on September 12, along with Bilsdale and Chatton transmitters which also serve the Tyne Tees region.
Eligible people have been sent a Help Scheme information pack explaining the offer and will be getting a follow up reminder letter.
However, the fire safety officers are urging everyone who has already switched to digital to reach out to those older and disabled people they know who may still need help, and have not yet made contact with the Help Scheme.
For more information, visit www.helpscheme.co.uk/tynetees/events.