Cleveland Fire Brigade is joining forces with colleagues across the country for National Older People’s Day on Tuesday 1 October, in the biggest day of public involvement with older people ever undertaken by the UK fire and rescue service.
Brigade staff are supporting the event by visiting shopping centres, community groups and residential homes on the day to build relationships and raise awareness on how to stay safe from fire in your home. The slogan for this year’s Older People’s Day is ‘Full of Life’.
Statistics show that older people are most at risk of dying or being injured in a fire. In 2011/12, there were 380 fire deaths in the UK, of which 178 (47%) involved people aged 60 or above. By 2033, it’s estimated that 23% of the UK population will be over 65.
Les Jones, Head of Community Safety with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “With people living longer, deaths and injuries from fire will rise in proportion to the increase of older people. Only 4% of people over the age of 65 live in communal settings such as care homes, so this means the majority of older people live in their own homes.
“We want to ensure everyone in our communities is safe from fire, whether they have mobility problems, a hearing impairment or struggle financially. Any of these factors can put people at greater risk, so our main message is to request a free Home Fire Safety Visit from us where we can assess your needs, if any, ensure you have working smoke alarms and help you make an escape plan. All you need to do is call 01429 874063 to request one today!
“If any carers, families, friends and neighbours know someone who hasn’t had a free Home Fire Safety Visit, I would also urge them to contact us. In the meantime I would ask residents to stay safe by following our top tips.”
- Stand by your pan –NEVER leave cooking unattended
- Keep your cooker clean – burnt food and fat can and do cause fires
- Unplug appliances when not in use, unless they are designed to be left on
- Regularly check for worn or frayed wires
- Keep heaters clear from curtains and material – never use them to dry clothes
- Always place candles and tealights in a suitable fire resistant candleholder
- Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out!
- Never smoke in bed – if you need a lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set fire to your bed