This Carers’ Week is a chance for us to reach out to local carers to remind them that 'fire safety' help is available to keep them, and the people they care for.
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 showed that more than half of the few people who had tested their smoke alarm for someone else had done so for an older family member. But there are many 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, there are many people with particular fire safety concerns and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding them that they’re not alone. Help, advice and solutions are available to help make their jobs that little bit easier and the homes of those cared for that little bit safer.
Fire safety tips
Make sure the person you care for is registered with your local fire and rescue service if they have sight, hearing, mobility difficulties, or if they use oxygen. This will mean a fire crew is made aware of your circumstances in the event of an emergency.
If you have a text phone or minicom, you can contact the emergency services on 18000.
Make sure that the person you care for knows what to do in the event of a fire.
It's a good idea to practice an escape so that you and your loved ones feel confident enough to do it by day or night.
Daily safety checks
Test your smoke alarm - A working smoke alarm can give your loved ones the extra time they need to escape a house fire. Make testing the batteries of their alarms part of your weekly routine. Most house fires happen at night, so make sure your smoke alarm is in a position that will wake the person you care for up.
Close inside doors at night - this will help prevent a fire from spreading.
If you use oxygen, make sure the equipment is stored safely out of direct sunlight. Make sure it is well ventilated, always dry and away from heat sources. Never have open flames, smoke or use electrical appliances such as hairdryers, whilst using oxygen.
If you live with the person you care for, consider fitting an intercom which will allow you to alert someone else in the house in an emergency.
If you or the person you care for has difficulty hearing you can get specialist smoke alarms which use a strobe light and vibrating pads.
Alternatively consider linking the alarm system to your own - this can alert you to any danger.
A coloured sticker on the smoke alarm can help people with trouble seeing it to test it, or your local Fire Service might be able to provide a coloured cover.
Placing a tactile indicator along your escape route can make it easier for those with sight difficulties to find the exit.
Easy access smoke alarms are available for people who have trouble moving around. These can be tested from the wall rather than the ceiling. The Disabled Living Foundation can provide more information on these products.
Carry out your own home safety check
Complete our online home safety check and you will get a personalised fire safety plan, which will offer advice on how to prevent fires in your home.
Do the online home safety check
Book a home safety check
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will fit free smoke alarms for people who are aged over 65 and for people who are referred to us by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk.
If you are over 65 years of age and you live in Cheshire, you can arrange for a Firefighter or a Community Safety Advocate to visit your home for a free home safety visit. During the home safety visit advice will be given on how to make your home safer, what to do in the event of a fire and what to do if you are trapped by a fire. Free smoke alarms will also be fitted (if needed) with an explanation on how to maintain them correctly.
Book a home safety visit for over 65’s