Safe and well – helping older people get ready for winter this Home Safety Week

Fire and Rescue Services are working in partnership with health to help keep older people safe and warm during the winter months.

And as part of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Home Safety Week, services from across the country are urging people to make sure older friends and relatives are safe and well as the weather starts to get colder and the nights draw in.

This year’s Home Safety Week (September 28 – October 4th) will see firefighters and community safety teams join forces with health colleagues across the country.

This will help to kick-start work to protect older people from fire this winter and to support the health sector to reduce excess winter deaths.

In addition, National Older People’s Day 2015 takes place on October 1st which aims to celebrate the contribution older people make to society. It also coincides with the United Nations Days of Older Persons.

 Fire services – in partnership with health colleagues – are expanding Safe and Well fire safety visits to include a number of interventions designed to help to reduce the risk of older people dying during the winter period.

Register my appliance is also supporting the week, encouraging relatives and friends to give older people a helping hand in registering their appliances.  www.registermyappliance.org.uk.

Almost half of all fire deaths in the UK involve people over the age of 60 and by the time someone reaches 80 they are 10 times more likely to die in a fire than someone under 30.

In common with other European countries, more people in the United Kingdom die in the winter than in the summer. The majority of deaths occur among those aged 75 and over; there were 14,000 excess winter deaths in this age group in 2013/14 compared with 4,000 in people aged under 75 years of age.

Safety advice

Six steps to keep you safe at home:

  1. PLAN – plan your easiest escape route
  2. TEST – fit a smoke alarm and test regularly
  3. CHECK – check all appliances before going to bed or leaving the house
  4. CARE – never leave cooking unattended
  5. CLOSE – close doors at all times – this can prevent fire spreading
  6. CALL – get out and call 999 at the first sign of fire
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