Home Fire Safety for Domiciliary Care staff

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This page is intended to provide some background information to enable Domiciliary Care staff to refer clients, particularly the elderly and/or disabled for Home Fire Safety Visits.

Home Fire Safety Visits
Signs of Further Risk
Actions to Take

Although the number of house fires has reduced over recent years, sadly statistics indicate that the elderly and/or those with disabilities are at an increased risk of fire in the home, often with tragic consequences.

This level of risk is increased where mobility problems/disabilities affect their ability to escape the home unaided and for those living in difficult circumstances including living on their own.

Home Fire Safety Visits

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service provides Safe and Independent Living (SaIL) Visits free of charge (including smoke alarms).

These visits include:

  • A risk assessment of the home.
  • Safety advice where required, particularly in relation to the most common causes of fire such as cooking, smoking, electrical faults and candles.
  • Advice on a ‘night time routine’, providing advice on measures that enhance safety at a vulnerable time.
  • Help in making an escape plan, or a ‘stay put’ plan where appropriate.
  • A check of existing smoke alarms and the fitting of new ones if required.
  • A benefits check and debt advice

With their consent, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service are happy to receive referrals for any client at risk but particularly those over the age of 65 yrs and/or with disabilities.

Signs of Further Risk

Below are some of the physical characteristics which could identify further risk, although the list isn’t exhaustive.

Kitchen Safety: 50 to 60% of all accidental dwelling house fires start in the kitchen often by one of the following:

  • Cooking with fats/oils; cooker grills with accumulated grease; or being distracted.
  • Combustible items on/near the cooker, such as tea towels and oven gloves.

Electrical Safety:

  • Clothing being dried on/close to electric heaters or other open heat sources.
  • Sitting too close to electric heaters or other open heat sources.
  • Overloading of sockets or extension leads.

Smoking is known to be the cause of most fire related deaths.

  • Evidence of overflowing ashtrays and/or scorch marks on floor or furniture

Candles - Not in appropriate holders and/or too close to curtains or blinds for example.

Personal circumstances or behaviour are also known to contribute to higher risk from fire.

This can include poor living conditions, hoarding and cluttering of escape routes.

Risk can also increase where occupant’s exhibit dementia type symptoms; learning difficulties and/or are liable to misuse alcohol and/or medication.

Actions to take:

To refer for a Safe and Independent Living visit, complete the SAIL form through Your Care Your Support

To refer online for a Safe and Well visit from the fire service, look at the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue website and complete their form

Reviewed November 2018; Updated November 2018