Almost a quarter of the UK’ s population will be aged 65 and over by 2035. Older People’s Day challenged the stereotype of older people as frail, vulnerable and a burden on the rest of the population. Instead, it recognised the experience, knowledge and contribution that older people make to society and the economy.
However, research shows that older people are at the highest risk of fire in the home – those over the age of 80 are ten times more likely to die in a fire than those 30 or under, and older men are more likely to die than older women. Between April 2011 and March 2012 there were 380 fire deaths in Great Britain of which 178 (47%) were among people aged 60 or above.
Even a small fire can impact on an older person’s quality of life, resulting in an individual losing confidence in his or her ability to remain safe whilst living independently.
The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) was a key partner of Older People’s Day on October 1st and has drawn up a six-year Ageing Safely Plan. Mark Cashin, CFOA Lead for Home Safety said: “We are committed to engaging with older people and helping them to access the information, advice and tools they need to protect them from deaths and injuries caused by fire in the home.
“Older People’s Day allows us to work with partners across the country, and to showcase the types of activities, such as Home Fire Safety Checks, that our fire and rescue services do every day to help older people to stay safe, independent and ‘Full of Life’.”
Safelincs supports Older People’s Day and has a range of fire safety related products that help to prevent fires and related injuries for older people:
Smoke alarms for the hard of hearing
Stove fire alarms to notify you if your pan is boiling dry and overheats
Gas alarms to alert you if the gas on the cooker was left on