This week is Carers Week, so Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding everyone in a caring role of the help that is available for keeping homes safe from fire.
Whether you are a formal carer, or someone who ‘keeps an eye’ on an elderly neighbour or family member, the Service offers a range of advice and support.
Safe & Well Manager Vikki Thomas said: “Safe & Well is a completely free service, which helps to keep our communities safe in their homes. We start with a phone call to the householder, or their representative, to identify whether any specific equipment may be of help. An advisor will then arrange a home visit at a convenient time, to identify any fire risks and install things like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.”
The Safe & Well discussion covers topics such as using electricity safely, kitchen safety, making an escape plan, having a bedtime routine, and specific risks such as smoking in the home, use of emollient creams, and restricted mobility.
Vikki said: “We know that more than 6.5 million people in the UK are currently providing unpaid care for a family member or friend who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Yet many of them don’t see themselves as carers, they simply see themselves as spouses, partners, parents, children or friends. If you support someone who meets our risk criteria in any way, you are a carer and we can offer help.”
The Service aims to specifically target people who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Lives alone
- Elderly – 65+
- Care and support needs
- Inappropriate smoking
- Alcohol and medication use
- Reduced mobility
- Hoarding and/or mental health issues
If you or someone you know would benefit from a Safe & Well visit, please get in touch – you can call 0800 038 2323 free of charge, or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safe-and-well-visits to make your request online.
There is also lots of advice for carers on the Service website, www.dwfire.org.uk/advice-for-carers