A SCOTTISH FIRE safety officer is urging people to take up a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) offer of free home safety visits that could save lives.
Three quarters of preventable fire deaths over the last five years involved people aged 50 or over – and more than a third of those who suffered injury by fire were over 60.
Now the SFRS say they want to help more people in these age groups remain both safe and independent in their own homes – and they can do that by reducing the chances of fires happening in the first place.
SFRS Community Safety Advocate Jacqueline MacDonald said: “The main causes of fire in the home are cooking, especially when alcohol is involved, smoking, and electrical fires.
“The most important thing is ensuring people have enough smoke detection and that it works properly and are tested regularly. For older people the risks could be things like forgetting to turn the cooker off, or they do not have the manual dexterity to pull a plug out. These are the things we would cover on a home safety visit.”
It is not only the SFRS who can do much to ensure homes are safe, with neighbours also being asked to ensure elderly people they live close to have good, working smoke detectors in place.
Jacqueline said: “A lot of elderly people do not have the physical ability to test their detectors so, if you are visiting someone, just press the alarm for them and make sure they are working.”
Home Fire Safety Visits only take around 20 minutes and can be arranged by calling 0800 0731 999 or by sending ‘FIRE’ in a text to 80800. They can also be arranged by a visit to your local fire station or online by visiting www.firescotland.gov.uk.