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Advice Centre

Fire Safety Professional Warns Against Fire Risk in Elderly Accommodation

Putting an elderly relative into a care home or sheltered accommodation is often a difficult and heart-rending decision for everyone involved. Your older relative may feel frustrated at their declining strength and abilities, and want younger family members to do more to help them stay in their own home, while the younger generation may not be able to give grandparents or elderly parents the time and attention they need.

Finding a good, caring residential home can offer relief to both parties, as the older person realises that they will have people to befriend and chat to with easy access to medical care when needed, and the younger family members can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the home is geared to keeping their loved one safe and healthy.

Large Collections Of Belongings Could Post A Hazard

However, moving into a small apartment within a residential complex can raise some concerns. Obviously, the older person will want to have their precious belongings and keepsakes with them in their new home. This process seems harmless and even a positive thing and the whole family will often help to put up pictures, arrange ornaments and make the apartment look homely and inviting.

But this can sometimes backfire. Brian Gregory is a retired Fire Safety Professional who has been looking into the overall safety of old-age care and residential homes. Although most of these establishments have fire risk assessments and clear health and safety guidelines in place, he feels that these often do not take into account the small personal touches that people add to their new homes. He has seen many instances when people have placed a welcome mat outside their door, with, perhaps, an attractive pot plant and maybe a comfortable chair, so they can sit outside their door and watch the comings and goings of their neighbours.

Professional Recommends No Combustible Items In Communal Areas

These items are invaluable to a wannabe arsonist who breaks into the home, determined to start a fire. However, even if the fire starts in an accidental fashion (faulty wiring, a pan forgotten on a stove or a carelessly discarded cigarette) having combustible items in or near the doorway, or blocking the central passageway, can mean the difference between life and death.

Brian Gregory recommends a zero tolerance stance towards items being left in communal areas, in order to keep all the residents and staff members safe. Read the full article at

It may seem unfair to impose rules on our elderly loved ones, who have worked and saved and only want to live in peace and safety, but compared to a frightening and potentially lethal fire ripping through the building, obeying a few simple rules will no longer seem such an imposition.

If you are in charge of a residential home make sure your building is up to scratch by calling on us, Fire Seals Direct. We can assess the building and offer advice and guidance, from understanding legislation to the correct installation and use of safety equipment. Call us today to discuss your needs.