If you can’t fit alarms yourself, contact your local fire and rescue service who may be able to fit them for you. If it is difficult to test your alarms ask somebody to do it for you. You can also get remote controlled or easy access alarms, which can be tested from the wall rather than the ceiling.
If you have a hearing difficulty you can get a smoke alarm which uses a strobe light and vibrating pads.
You can register with Emergency SMS so that you can TEXT 999 in case of a fire or other emergency. Alternatively get out and ask a neighbour to call 999 for you. If you have specialist equipment, such as a text phone or minicom, you can contact the emergency services on 18000
Put a coloured sticker on your smoke alarm if you have trouble seeing it to test it. Consider fitting bumpons (also known as plastic blisters) to appliances as a way of making sure they are switched off properly.
For more information, what the Bumpon film, courtesy of RNIB, below.
- Unplug and check electrical leads regularly by touch. If they are frayed or faulty don’t plug them in or switch them on.
- If electrics are giving off a burning smell, turn them off and unplug them immediately.
- You may also want to consider placing a tactile indicator along your escape route to make it easier to find the exit.
If you have trouble moving around, consider fitting an intercom which will allow you to alert someone in the event of an emergency. You can also fit a key safe to allow friends, family and the emergency services to gain access to your property in event of an emergency. Make sure you have easy access to any mobility aids you may need, such as a walking stick. If you need the use of a stairlift, ensure it is serviced and maintained as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Modern stairlifts have a back up battery in case of a power cut but the advice is not to use in the event of a fire.
- If you can’t get out stay in a room with a shut door, window and phone, ideally at the front of the house.
- Put bedding round the bottom of the door to block out the smoke, open the window and shout “HELP FIRE”. Keep a whistle handy if it’s hard to shout.
- If you can, close inside doors at night. This will help prevent a fire from spreading.
- For peace of mind, there are ‘round the clock’ monitored services which charge a monthly or annual fee. These work by using your existing phone line.
- In an emergency, a service user can call for help by pressing a button on a pendant or wristband they wear all the time. An operator will respond to check if you are ok and can call the emergency services if required.
- Contact your local council or Adult Social Care team to be referred.
For more information on fire safety, see the leaflet below: