Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Older Persons Day

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to look out for elderly relatives and neighbours on Older People’s Day which takes place on Tuesday October 1.

Statistics show that older people are most at risk of dying or being injured in a fire. Last year, there were 380 fire deaths in the UK, of which 178 (47%) involved people aged 60 or over.

Although older people are at greater risk from fire there are a few simple precautions they can take to make sure they and their homes are as safe as possible.

Divisional Officer Stuart McMillan said: “The key piece of advice we would give is to make sure that you have a smoke alarm and that it is regularly tested.

“A working smoke alarm is the most important piece of equipment in any home, they provide vital warning at the first sign of fire giving you and your family time to get safely out and call us in.”

Other tips from Essex County Fire and Rescue are:

•Don’t leave cooking unattended
•Keep your cooker clean – burnt food and fat can and do cause fires
•Unplug appliances when not in use, unless they are designed to be left on
•Regularly check for worn or frayed wires
•Keep heaters clear from curtains and material – never use them to dry clothes
•Always place candles and tealights in a suitable fire resistant candleholder
•Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out!
•Never smoke in bed – if you need a lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set fire to your bed

A special Crucial Crew for Older People is taking place on October 1 at Princes Theatre, Pier Ave, Clacton, 10am to 4pm.  Visitors to the event will be able to get a range of home safety advice and can even bring in small electrical appliances to be safety checked by professionals.

DO McMillan said: “Older people are one of the groups we in the fire service target our advice to because they are more vulnerable to fire, so an event like this will mean that they not only get the advice to keep them fire safe, but all the advice they need to stay safe in general.

“We provide free home fire safety visits which include fitting smoke alarms. To arrange a home fire safety visit for yourself or an elderly relative, friend then please do not hesitate to call us.”

To arrange a free home fire safety visit call 0300 303 0088 or email webmaster@essex-fire.gov.uk

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