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Fire Service Lends Support To Cambridgeshire Carers

Published: 14th June 2012 08:13

 This Carers Week (18-24 June) Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is reaching out to local carers and reminding them that help is available to keep them, and the people they care for, safe from fire.

Fire safety is yet another worry on an ever-growing list for those with the extra responsibility of looking after an elderly relative, sick friend or a disabled family member.

A recent survey showed that more than half of the few people who had tested their smoke alarm for someone else had done so for an older family member*. But there are many other issues a carer must think about - from the extra time it takes for people with difficulty moving to escape a fire in the home, to the added risks of flammable equipment such as oxygen cylinders.

And with over 520,209 carers in the East of England, this adds up to a great many people with particular fire safety concerns.

But this week CFRS is reminding carers that they're not alone. Local carers should contact 01480 444500 or log onto www.cambsfire.gov.uk to find out what help, advice and solutions are available to help make their jobs that little bit easier and the homes of those cared for that little bit safer.

Andy Tucker, Risk Manager for CFRS "There is lots of help available for carers to make sure that they and their loved ones are protected - be it simple safety advice over the phone or on our website, or helping them find the specialist equipment they need.

"The simplest thing any carer can do to prevent fire in their home is to make a few easy additions to their normal routine. Testing your loved one's smoke alarm weekly and planning an escape route could help give them the vital extra seconds they need to get out in a fire. Simple steps such as closing doors at night and avoiding overloaded plug sockets will help reduce the risk in their home.

"A huge variety of specialist safety equipment is also available - vibrating smoke alarms for the hard of hearing, easy-reach smoke alarm testers for those with limited movement and linked alarm systems many other issues a carer must think about - from the extra time it takes for people with difficulty moving to escape a fire in the home, to the added risks of flammable equipment such as oxygen cylinders.

Specialist equipment is available:

  1. If you live with the person you care for, consider fitting an intercom which will allow you to alert someone else in the house in an emergency.
  2. If you or the person you care for has difficulty hearing you can get specialist smoke alarms which use a strobe light and vibrating pads.
  3. Alternatively consider linking the alarm system to your own - this can alert you to any danger.
  4. A coloured sticker on the smoke alarm can help people with trouble seeing it to test it, or your local Fire Service might be able to provide a coloured cover.
  5. Placing a tactile indicator along your escape route can make it easier for those with sight difficulties to find the exit.
  6. 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.

For further information on fire safety please visit www.facebook.com/firekills  or www.cambsfire.gov.uk  

Carers can find out what help and advice is available to them by phoning 01480 444500, or logging onto www.cambsfire.gov.uk

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