29 September 2014

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to helping older people to age safely during the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Ageing Safely Week, taking place from 29th September to 5th October 2014.

As part of the first ever Ageing Safely Week, which is running for a week around UK Older People’s Day on 1st October, fire and rescue services across the country will be holding a range of events and activities, engaging with older people in their communities and showcasing the work they do on a daily basis to help keep older people safe.

What's happening as part of Ageing Safely Week?

Mereway Fire Station will be opening its doors on Wednesday (1st October) from 10am till midday for a coffee morning for people aged 60 or over to learn some fire safety tips to help keep them safe.

Visitors can also benefit from crime prevention advice from Northamptonshire Police and wellbeing advice from HeartStart.

During the week, fire crews will also be visiting older people in a variety of locations, such as sheltered accommodation flats and bungalows, retirement villages and day centres. They will discuss fire safety, give advice and carry out home fire safety checks in homes as part of the service’s continuing work to engage with and help those members of our society at higher risk.

Why is this event important?

Statistics show that the risk of dying in a fire for those aged 65 and over is more than twice as high as the average risk for all ages.

And with an ever-increasing older population – 23% of UK residents will be aged 65 and over by 2035 – activities to help older people prevent fires and keep themselves safe are likely to form a growing part of the fire service’s work over the coming years.

Throughout the UK, fire and rescue services identify those who are most at risk in their community and undertake targeted prevention and protection activities to help them stay safe.

Brigades carried out 274,000 home fire safety checks in households with a person over 65 years in 2012-13. But this is just a small part of the work that the fire service does with older people, including working with partners to share resources and expertise and deliver integrated services to the local community.

CFOA President Peter Dartford said: "CFOA Ageing Safely Week gives fire and rescue services the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to protecting older people, particularly those who are vulnerable and may be most at risk.

"Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS, at the LGA conference, recognised the huge part firefighters could play in delivering health and wellbeing interventions in people’s homes.

"During the week, services will be showcasing the work that they do with older people to keep them safe and healthy, raising awareness of the services available, and building and developing existing and new partnerships with organisations with similar goals."