News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is joining a host of organisations including Age UK to support national Carers Week (9 -15 June) and has made a pledge to spread the message to carers about the free fire safety advice and services it provides.
KFRS community safety manager Charlie Smith said: “In Kent and Medway there are over 176 thousand unpaid carers, looking after a frail, sick or elderly relative or friend according to the 2011 census. That's 10.2% of the population, higher than the national and South East average and an increase of around 18% since the previous census**.
“Sadly, it is often older members of the community or those with dementia or other health issues, who are at greater risk of being injured or killed in a fire at home, but carers are well placed to identify where additional support may be required.”
As part of its ‘Carers Week Quest’ KFRS shall be making it a priority to ensure carers have the information they need to keep people safe and independent in their own homes for longer.
Help includes, where needed, free home safety visits and specialist equipment for more ‘at risk’ residents, including smoke alarms designed for visually and hearing impaired people. Other help might include providing items such as fireproof bedding and fire retardant materials for immobile smokers, and safety gadgets such as cooker switches for people who may have dementia, who have become forgetful about turning the cooker off.
Fire safety officers from Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s specialist vulnerable people team will be attending a number of events aimed at carers to raise awareness of the services we provide to vulnerable people. These include:
Saturday 14th June - Community Safety officers will be attending Age UK’s Summer Fete in Margate on 14 June from 11am to 4pm
Monday 9th June – Dementia Family Engagement Event. All Saints Church, Chatham
Tuesday 10th June – Carers Support AGM & Info market. Salvation Army Hall, Folkestone
Thursday 12th June – Invicta Advocacy staff meeting, Dartford
Charlie added: “Carers Week provided the ideal opportunity to highlight the services we offer and the work we do with partners and other organisations including Age UK, to reach members of it community who are most at risk of being injured in a fire in the home.”
Age UK Maidstone Information and Advice Manager Angela Kent said: “Age UK Maidstone refers many clients and carers to KFRS for specialist support and advice, particularly for the very frail and vulnerable who are at higher risk of being trapped in their homes in the unforeseen circumstances of a fire breaking out.
“Many of our clients have been given specialist equipment that has enabled them to continue to live at home safely but independently. Age UK Maidstone has a good working relationship with KFRS who equally refer frail and vulnerable clients to us for support where possible.”
For more information please call 0800 923 7000 (free of charge from UK landlines) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to editors
For more information on Carers Week 2014 go to: http://www.carersweek.org/
*Figures from Carers UK
** NHS Kent and Medway Public Health Observatory: http://www.kmpho.nhs.uk/jsna/carers/