Statistics show that there are more than 759,000 adult carers in Scotland and an estimated 29,000 people under the age of 16 are also looking after another person in their lives.
Now, as part of an Older People Month of Action launched earlier this month, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is reaching out to carers to help them keep vulnerable friends and family safe.
Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of Prevention and Protection.
He said: “We recognise the dedication and immense effort contributed by every carer who helps a family member or friend live more safely.
“As a service, we want to lend a hand.
“If you are a carer, or you know someone who is a carer, I’d urge you to get in touch to arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit.
He continued: “Our dedicated staff can help you spot possible fire hazards, sort out a fire escape plan and provide information about smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms.
“We can also help by suggesting other agencies who can help make sure you and the person you care for are safe and protected in your home.”
Over the past year the SFRS has launched a pilot initiative working with care providers such as Bon Accord Care in Aberdeen and SCRT Homecare in Stirling & Clackmannanshire.
SFRS staff have delivered fire risk awareness training to Support Workers to assist them in identifying risks within the homes of those they visit.
This has already resulted in hundreds of Home Fire Safety Visits for people who could have been at a high risk of having a fire.
ACO Haggart added, “We also want to reach out to professional care staff who do a fantastic job to support those living independently in the community.
“If you have a client who could benefit from a free Home Fire Safety Visit then I’d urge you to get in touch to arrange a visit.
“In Scotland, more than 30 per cent of fire fatalities occur in homes where the person receives provided care from the health and social care sector.
“There are things which you might have noticed which could give you concern about a person’s fire safety, burn marks found within the home. Cooking regularly being left unattended, poor housekeeping, an accumulation of possessions that restricts escape route“
ACO Haggart added: “Our message is simple - whether you are an individual providing care, or you work for a care provider, if you think someone is at risk, contact us now.”
Find more fire safety information for Carers here, including a downloadable booklet, ‘Supporting Fire Safety in the Home – A Carers Guide’:
Notes to editor
* Scottish carers statistics supplied by Carers Scotland
A Home Fire Safety Visit can be organised at a time that suits you, day or night. To book a visit:
call the freephone number 0800 073 1999
texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800
or fill in an online form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.
When requesting a Home Fire Safety Visit for the person you care for, when answering “How did you hear?” please quote “Personal Plan”.