This week is Carers Week (9-15 June) and Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service is reaching out to local carers to remind them that help is available to keep them, and the people they care for, safe from fire.
Fire safety is yet another worry on an ever-growing list for those with the extra responsibility of looking after an elderly relative, sick friend or a disabled family member.
A recent survey found that of the few people who had tested their smoke alarm for someone else, more than half had done so for an older family member. There are also other issues a carer must think about – from the extra time it takes for people with difficulty moving to escape a fire in the home, to the added risks of flammable equipment such as oxygen cylinders.
With over 6.5 million carers in the UK, this adds up to a great many people with particular fire safety concerns.
Chief Fire Officer Stewart Edgar said: “There’s lots of help available for carers to make sure they, and their loved ones, are protected – be it simple safety advice over the phone, tips and information from our website, or helping them find the specialist equipment they need.”
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “Carers can help prevent fire in their loved ones home by making a few simple additions to their normal routine. Testing their smoke alarm weekly and planning an escape route could help give them the vital extra seconds they need to get out in a fire. Simple steps such as closing doors at night and avoiding overloaded plug sockets will help reduce the risk in their home.”
For book a free home fire safety visit call 0800 180 4140. You can also book a visit to SkillZONE, Gloucestershire’s safety education centre which offers sessions for carers, helping them be safer in their homes. http://skillzone.glosfire.gov.uk