full of lifeServices in Tyne & Wear and Hertfordshire are among those joining together for the largest ever event aimed at making older people safer from fire.

On Older People's Day [1 Oct], the Service will be targeting residents over 60 years of age who smoke, in a bid to help make the most vulnerable safer in their homes.

The Service is also launching their Dementia Action Plan, in partnership with The Alzheimer’s Society to ensure that the Service is providing the best support for those with dementia.

Among most vulnerable to fire risks
TWFRS Area Manager Kevin Hepple said: “Older people can be more vulnerable to fire so as a fire and rescue service a lot of our fire prevention work involves working with older people to help make them safer from fire.

"In the past year in Tyne and Wear, over 36% of accidental house fires involved people over 60 years old, sadly only recently an older lady in Newcastle lost her life in a house fire, where smoking materials are believed to be the cause of the blaze.

"This highlights just how important it is to ensure that older people are given the support to live safely in their homes. We will be spending Older People's Day focusing on those most at risk, fitting smoke alarms and giving advice to people over 60 years of age.”

With an estimated two thirds of all people with dementia living in their own homes the Dementia Action Plan will focus on improving the Service’s work in:
* setting up a dementia working party to look at the Service's policies and procedures on Dementia
* training frontline staff in spotting the signs of dementia
* adapting the Service's Home Safety Checks to make them more appropriate for people with dementia
* improving work with local dementia charities and services to try to locate more people with dementia and their carers to make them safe in their homes.

Keeping residents safe & independent
In Hertfordshire, the Dacorum and St Albans fire crews will be holding an information stall, attending a warden-assisted home for older people to talk to residents about fire safety and specifically the dangers of leaving food unattended during cooking.

Other local fire stations will also be marking the day in similar ways and Herts CC Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Planning, Richard Thake, explained why the Service are backing the day's theme of 'Full of Life'.

“Almost half of all fire deaths within the UK involve people over the age of 60.  More specifically, in Hertfordshire last year 15 people over this age were injured in fires and there were two related deaths," he said.  

“We engage with older people every day to help them remain safe and independent.  Older People’s Day 2013 is a great opportunity for us to work alongside colleagues elsewhere in the country to highlight the importance of this work.”

For more information visit http://olderpeoplesday.co.uk/