Angela Rippon backs KFRS’s dementia pledge
12 September 2012
Kent Fire and Rescue Fire Service (KFRS) has
joined others around the UK to sign up to a pledge to improve the
safety of people with dementia.
The initiative is part of the Prime Minister's challenge to help
build dementia friendly communities. Steve Griffiths, KFRS Services
Director of Service Delivery is the national fire and rescue
representative on the group, which is chaired by Angela Rippon.
Angela Rippon OBE, Alzheimer's Society Ambassador and co-chair
of the PM's challenge group, said: "We are delighted that fire and
rescue services such as Kent have agreed to be part of this
important initiative. There are about 800,000 people in the UK with
dementia and with greater awareness we can all help ensure they can
live a safe and happy life. Fire and Rescue services already make a
huge difference by providing practical safety advice to people with
dementia and their carers.
“By signing this pledge KFRS is taking a further step towards
providing peace of mind for carers, improving the safety of people
with dementia and helping them stay secure and independent in their
own homes for as long as possible."
The pledge includes helping to ensure families and carers are
aware of fire risks, raising awareness of free home safety visits
and advice and encouraging other local organisations to become
involved in building dementia friendly communities.
Ann Millington, Chief Executive of KFRS said: "The effects of
fire can be devastating for families, but with advice and support
we can help people make small changes that make a big difference to
their safety. Here at Kent Fire and Rescue Service we are committed
to ensuring that vulnerable people, including those with dementia,
can stay safe and independent in their own homes.
“Fire and rescue services around the county are already doing
excellent work in their local communities, and we are all keen to
work closely with colleagues in other sectors to identify those who
need our help. The PM's dementia challenge is a great opportunity
to work towards creating safer communities for those with
KFRS’s vulnerable person’s team works with around 100 vulnerable
people every month, including helping people with dementia stay
safe and independent in their own homes. The service is free and
the specially trained team will visit, assess what is needed and
offer essential advice to the person and their carers. That could
include anything from cooker shut offs when someone is getting
forgetful about turning off the hob, to fire proof blankets or
lockable electric sockets.
Note to editors
Specific figures aren't available for fires affecting people
with dementia, however nationally in 2010/11:
- There were 306 deaths in the home
- People over 60 are at four times more likely to die in a fire
than those under 30. This rises to ten times more likely for over
- Research shows that impairment, disability and dementia are a
substantial factor in increasing someone's risk of injury or death
from fire in the home.
- More than half of the 38,500 fires in UK homes are caused when
cooking and 4100 people were injured as a result
Fire and rescue services across the UK are signing up to a
pledge to help people with dementia live safely and independently
for as long as possible by:
- Helping to ensure that families and carers are aware of the
fire risks associated with the care and protection of people with
dementia in their homes.
- Raising awareness of home safety visits and other preventative
measures available to help reduce the risk of fires and accidents
in the homes of people with dementia.
- Promoting the education and information resources available to
those caring for people with dementia.
- Raising awareness of dementia amongst our staff.
- Promoting the use of simple design measures at the construction
stage of building developments, so that people can stay independent
and safe in their own homes for as long as possible.
- Promoting the use of assistive technology that can enable
people to stay independent and safe in their own homes for as long
- Taking an active role in encouraging partners and local groups
to create dementia-friendly communities
Background on PM's dementia challenge
Dementia challenge website http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk
Information on dementia
There are about 800,000 people in the UK with dementia. Dementia
mainly affects people over the age of 65 and the likelihood
increases with age.
However, it can affect younger people: there are over 17,000
people in the UK under the age of 65 who have dementia.
Dementia can affect men and women. The term 'dementia' is used
to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by
specific diseases and conditions. Symptoms of dementia include loss
of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually
get worse. In the later stages of dementia, the person affected
will have problems carrying out everyday tasks and will become
increasingly dependent on other people.
Alzheimer's Society website www.alzheimers.org.uk