This Carers Week, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is reaching out to carers and reminding them that help is available to keep them, and the people they care for safe from fire.
Paul Scott, Prevention Manager, said: “The first step any carer can take to prevent fire in their home is to make a few easy additions to their normal routine. Testing smoke alarms every week and planning an escape route could help give them the vital extra seconds they need to get out in a fire.
“There’s also a wide range of specialist equipment available – vibrating smoke alarms for the hard of hearing, easy-reach smoke alarm testers for people with limited movement and linked alarm systems can make a difference.”
If you take care of a loved one, the Service’s advice could help make your – and their – jobs easier should the worst happen:
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.
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 plan so that you and your loved ones feel confident enough to do it by day or night.
RBFRS also offers free ‘Safe and Well’ Visits for eligible residents. Safe and Well Visits are tailored to individual needs, relating to health and wellbeing, as well as fire risk reduction. A visit will take place in the home and can be arranged at a convenient time.
Complete some simple everyday checks to help reduce the risk of fire:
- Test smoke alarms weekly to ensure they’re in good working order.
- 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.
- If you can, 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, well ventilated, always dry and away from heat sources.
- Never have open flames, smoke or use electrical appliances such as hairdryers, whilst using oxygen.
For more information on fire safety in the home, visit our safety pages.