Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is urging residents to keep an eye on the older members of their community as part of Ageing Safely Week.
The Chief Fire Officers Association Ageing Safely Week runs from Monday 29th September to Sunday 5th October and will see fire and rescue services across the country engaging with older people through a range of activities and showcasing the work they do with older people on a daily basis.
GFRS Chief Fire Officer Stewart Edgar said: “We should treasure the older people in our community. Whether that’s our grandparents, parents, a friend or a neighbour, we can all do our bit to look out for their wellbeing.
“Small acts of kindness like checking their smoke alarms are working if they struggle to do it themselves, may save their life.
“Our firefighters are committed to helping older people, particularly those who are most vulnerable or at risk and we provide free home safety checks to anyone who needs it.”
GFRS will be supporting Gloucestershire County Council’s Full of Life campaign launch on Wednesday 1st October at SkillZONE in Gloucester, which is also the International Day of Older Persons.
The service will also attend the subsequent pop-up shops around the county throughout October to provide fire safety advice.
Full of Life Gloucestershire is a celebration of older people with groups from community hubs around the county attending a morning of fun activities.
Tours will be given of the safety centre and Gloucester South Fire Station, while the fire service’s community safety team will be on hand to provide smoke alarms and fire safety tips.
They will also be bringing in specialist equipment such as flame retardant bedding to showcase alongside Telecare which provides assistive technology that helps older people to live safely and independently in the home.
Statistics show that the risk of dying in a fire for those aged 65 and over is more than twice as high as the average risk for all ages. In Gloucestershire around 5,000 households in the 65 plus age group have been identified as vulnerable.
GFRS identifies those who are most at risk in the county and undertakes targeted prevention and protection activities to help them stay safe.
If you know someone that may be vulnerable or at risk of a fire you can call 0800 180 4140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free home safety check.
Facts about Ageing Safely Week:
- With an ever-increasing older population – 23% of the UK will be aged 65 and over by 2035.
- UK fire services carried out 274,000 home fire safety checks in households with a person over 65 years in 2012-13.
- Age related fire death factors include: poor mobility, poor sense of smell and reduced tolerance of smoke and burns.
- To learn more about the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Ageing Safely Week visit cfoa.org.uk/AgeingSafelyWeek2014