HWFRS lends support to counties’ carers

Carers Week

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is reaching out during Carers Week (June 5-11) in a bid to improve fire safety.

As part of the Fire Kills Campaign, HWFRS is reminding local carers that they are not alone with help available to them and the people they look after.

Fire safety is another worry on an ever-growing list for those with the extra responsibility of caring for an older relative, sick friend or a disabled family member.

But Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, said: “There is lots of help available for carers to make sure that they and their loved ones are protected – be it simple safety advice over the phone, booking a free Home Fire Safety Visit, helping them complete the free online Home Fire Safety Check or helping them find the specialist equipment they need.

“The simplest thing any carer can do to prevent fire in their home is to make a few easy additions to their normal routine.

“Testing your loved ones’ smoke alarms 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.

“A huge variety of specialist safety equipment is also available.

“Vibrating smoke alarms for the hard of hearing, easy-reach smoke alarm testers for those with limited movement and linked alarm systems are just a few options to help you feel safer.”

Make sure the person you care for is registered with HWFRS if they have sight, hearing or 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 is a good idea to practise an escape so that you and your loved ones feel confident enough to do it by day or night.

Some simple everyday checks can help prevent a household fire:

  • Working smoke alarms can give your loved ones the extra time they need to escape a fire in the home. Make testing their alarms part of your regular routine
  • Most fires in the home happen at night so make sure smoke alarms are placed where they will wake up the person you care for, like in the bedroom
  • If you can, close inside doors at night. This will help to prevent a fire from spreading
  • If you use oxygen, make sure the equipment is stored safely out of direct sunlight, well ventilated, always dry and away from heat sources
  • Never have open flames, smoke or use electrical appliances such as hairdryers whilst using oxygen

Specialist equipment is available:

  • 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
  • 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

Anyone who thinks they might qualify for a free Home Fire Safety Visit can call the HWFRS Prevention team on 0800 032 1155.

Home Fire Safety Checks offer people the opportunity to get invaluable advice from HWFRS about planning escape routes, positioning alarms and ensuring that appropriate working smoke alarms are fitted in their homes.

Complete a check at www.safelincs.co.uk/hfsc/.