Home Safety Tips for People with Dementia
The symptoms of dementia such as memory loss, confusion and difficulty concentrating can mean that carrying out daily tasks becomes hard. Mishaps may be more likely to occur during routine activities at home. This could lead to a fire, carbon monoxide poisoning or serious injury. Here we highlight things you can do to improve home safety and reduce the risk of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning for anyone living with dementia.
Dementia home safety checklist
- Display emergency phone numbers and ensure the home address is in a prominent place near all telephones.
- Install radio-interlinked smoke alarms in every room of the house. Radio-interlinked alarms ‘talk’ to each other so that if one alarm sounds, it triggers every alarm to sound. This increases the likelihood of the individual being alerted as soon as possible to a potential fire and of others hearing the alarm. Radio-interlinked heat alarms should be installed in the kitchen and garage. They are specifically designed to react to heat rather than smoke or cooking fumes. This means they are less prone to false alarms which could be distressing.
The FireAngel Pro Connected Series of radio-interlinked alarms is particularly good as a dementia product as it can be purchased with a FireAngel Pro Connected Gateway. This will send alerts to a carer, relative or neighbour when the fire alarm sounds, giving added peace of mind.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room that has a solid fuel burning appliance such as a gas fire or gas cooker. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning could be high if there are gas appliances. They could be left on or switched on without being ignited which may cause a build up of CO. Radio-interlinked carbon monoxide alarms can be connected to compatible radio-interlinked smoke alarms for a really comprehensive system.
Some CO alarms such as the Kidde 7DCO include a digital display and it will remember the highest levels of CO it has recorded. Carers or relatives may find it useful to check periodically in case the alarm has been silenced when it detected a dangerous level of CO.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly – sign up to our free reminder service
- Reduce fire risks in the kitchen by installing a Sona Stove Guard. This stove lock has an intelligent heat sensor which identifies hazardous situations. If it detects that a fire could start, it will communicate with a control unit at the back of the cooker to cut the power supply. Therefore, preventing a fire from starting.
Receive notifications with FireAngel Pro Connected Series
Prevent cooking fires with Sona Stove Guard
- Always keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach.
- Keep a fire blanket or suitable fire extinguisher in an accessible place in the kitchen in case of any mishaps.
- Cover unused plug sockets with socket protectors.
- Avoid extension cords or trailing cables that could be a trip hazard and cause injury. This could also cause a fire if an appliance is pulled over.
- Remove portable heaters where possible. They could be a trip hazard or could get knocked over and cause a fire.
- Ensure all appliances have a timer so that they switch off automatically after a period of time if they have been left on accidentally.
- Spray upholstery with fire retardant spray so that if a fire does occur, it will be less likely to spread. This is particularly important if the person with dementia is a smoker.
- Use simple, clear labels and signs throughout the home as reminders or signposts.
- Install a key safe outside the home to safely allow care givers, neighbours or the emergency services easy access.
Dementia Safety Aids
View all dementia safety aids mentioned in this article.
Although this list is not exhaustive, by following these tips it will help to create a safe environment for dementia patients. You can find further advice on home precautions for dementia are detailed by the NHS.
Reviewed: 04/05/2021 (doc:549 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.