Cherished Campaign Relaunches To Help Keep Older People Safe And Well This Winter

HealthLocal News

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has launched its winter safety campaign, called Cherished.
The campaign, which ran for the first time last year, was prompted by a spike in fire-related deaths involving older people across West Yorkshire.
Fortunately this spike has not continued into this year, however, they still want the communities of West Yorkshire to join with them in cherishing older people this winter.
Whilst many proudly live independent lives, being older can make you more vulnerable to certain fire risks.
Key findings from accidental dwelling fire statistics over the last five years for West Yorkshire:
• Each year firefighters have attended over 200 accidental fires in homes of older people
• This equates to around a fifth of all accidental fires in the home each year
• The top causes of accidental fires in older people’s homes are – cooking, smoking and electrical
• Smoking related fires are by far the biggest killer of older people in the home
• Around three quarters of older people who have had a fire in the home lived alone
• Over the last five years more than half of the fatalities following accidental dwelling fires involved older people
This year the WYFRS have launched a new video, rolled out on their Facebook and Twitter sites, calling on people to ‘pledge’ to check in on three older people such as relatives, neighbours and friends this winter.
You can watch the video and make the pledge at;
Then you could post your ‘have a heart selfie’ to show support!
Area Manager for Fire Safety Chris Kirby said: “The Cherished Campaign is all about giving support to those who need it most, especially at this time of year.
“Many people over the age of 65 are very active and healthy. However, as more people are getting to this time of their lives, many will benefit from some simple support and so we are encouraging you to speak with or visit elderly relatives, friends and neighbours who may need your help at this time of the year.”
The campaign is using the slogan ‘Kindness in a Cuppa’ and the message is as simple as that!
AM Kirby added: “We would hope that your support can be offered through a friendly visit and a chat with a cuppa and while you spend a little time with those you choose to visit, consider if there are any issues within the home that they may need help with.
“Examples include the home being warm and free of potential trip hazards, is there adequate lighting? Are the main escape routes from the property free of clutter?
“If you have concerns you can contact the Fire Service to organise a free Home Fire Safety Check.”
Last winter (between October 2015 and March 2016) the WYFRS carried out over 7,000 safety checks in the homes of the over 65s across West Yorkshire.
• Never leave cooking unattended
• Smoking whilst drinking alcohol is a fire hazard
• Never smoke in bed and be aware if medication makes you drowsy
• Always use a non-combustible ashtray and fully extinguish cigarettes
• Get your electric blanket tested before winter
• Eat well to stay well this winter
• Grab rails and walking aids may reduce the likelihood
of a fall
• Keep the home warm – ideally around 21 degrees in the living room and 18 degrees in bedroom
• Have a bedtime routine and ensure you know your escape route should fire break out
• Always have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is developing a new home visit programme that will continue to give advice on fire safety within the home but it will also look to identify any concerns such as frailty and falls, social isolation, winter cold and people who may be susceptible to crime.
They also want to support people to give up smoking in addition to advising them about safer smoking. The development of these ’Safe and Well’ visits will see them working much closer with their partners from across the health and social care sectors to deliver a better service to those most vulnerable.
Last year the Cherished Campaign was supported by a host of organisations from Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society to sports clubs and even Emmerdale actor John Middleton, who plays Ashley Thomas.
For more top tips on how to help older people this winter visit;
Book a Home Fire Safety Check at;
Follow them on Twitter;
@West_Yorks_FRS #WYCherished
Or via their Facebook page;

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