Older People's Day and Home Safety Week 2015

Tue 29 Sep, 2015


Older People’s Day will be celebrated across the country on Thursday (1 October) – and firefighters want to take the opportunity to encourage the over-60s and their families to review their fire safety arrangements.

This week (Monday 27 September to Sunday 4 October) also marks the third annual Home Safety Week organised by the Chief Fire Officers' Association.

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “The good news is that people are living longer – it has been estimated that almost a quarter of the population will be 65 or over within the next 20 years.

“The bad news is that almost half of all fire deaths in the UK involve people over 60. By the time someone reaches 80, they are 10 times more likely to die in a fire than someone under 30.

“Because of this combination of factors, it’s vital that we do everything we can to engage with our senior citizens. We want them to live long and full lives as independently as possible.

"Firefighters will carry out a safety check in your home, fitting smoke alarms where needed and discussing individual fire safety concerns, free of charge.

“They can also point people in the direction of other sources of help, if needed, and help them make an escape plan."

To book one of these visits, ring 01296 744477 or send an email to cs@bucksfire.gov.uk.

Visits can also be booked by carers, families, friends and neighbours – but please don’t forget to tell the person you are booking it for!

In the meantime, here are Richard's top safety tips:

  • Stand by your pan – never leave cooking unattended. Keep your cooker clean, as burnt food and fat can cause fires.
  • If you smoke, stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. If you need a lie down, don’t light up! Don’t smoke in bed - you could doze off and start a fire.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use, unless they are designed to be left on. Regularly check for worn or frayed wires.
  • Keep heaters away from curtains, furniture and material. Don't sit too close to them, and never use them to dry clothes.
  • Always place candles and tealights in a suitable fire-resistant holder.