East Sussex Fire & Rescue service are supporting Carers Week, which runs this week between 12 – 18 June and reminding local carers that help is available in keeping themselves and the people they care for safe.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
There are many issues a carer needs to think about – from testing smoke alarms and ensuring they are in the right place to identifying escape plans and practising them.
Carers also need to consider the extra time it takes for people with difficulty moving to escape a fire in the home and the added risks of flammable equipment such as oxygen cylinders.
Checking smoke alarms regularly is a key part of effective fire safety in the home. 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. A coloured sticker on the smoke alarm can also help people with trouble seeing it to test it.
There are around 6.5 million carers in the UK and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are reminding our local carers that they are not alone and that we offer fire safety advice and free home safety visits. If you are a carer and are visiting loved ones or friends, please consider the following:
- Do they know what to do if there is a fire? Have you planned an escape route, practised it and made sure everyone knows how to follow it? Is it clear of all obstructions?
- Are there smoke alarms on every level of the home? Are they in a position that will wake everyone up, such as in bedrooms? If someone has hearing difficulties we can fit specialist alarms.
- Is there a telephone in the bedroom to raise the alarm? Close inside doors at night - this will help prevent a fire from spreading.
- Do they use oxygen? It is stored safely out of direct sunlight, well ventilated, always dry and kept away from heat sources?
- Do they have easy access to any mobility aids they use such as walking sticks?
- If they use electric blankets, have they been tested in the last three years? During the summer period, blankets should be stored flat or rolled up rather than folded. If they get wet, wait until it is completely dry before using it again.
We are committed to helping people stay safe in their homes. One of the ways we do this is by carrying out Home Safety Visits. These are offered to people who are most at risk from fires in their homes.
Our specially trained staff will visit and give advice on how to reduce the risk of having a fire. Contact us if you or someone you know would like to find out more.
For further advice and to book a home safety visit please call 0800 177 7069
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