London Fire Brigade

Fire death link with those receiving social care

21 May 2014

Today we’re hosting our first social care summit, bringing together the UK’s key care and fire professionals to find solutions to a growing problem.
 
New figures released today show that a third of people who died in accidental fires in London last year were receiving care services.

Smarter working

Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter, who is hosting the event, is calling for closer working between the care and fire profession.

The Deputy Commissioner is also strongly recommending the installation of sprinklers in residential care homes as well as promoting our free home fire safety visits, including fitting smoke alarms and, in some instances, flame retardant bedding for vulnerable people who smoke.
 

New figures

The data shows that of the 31 people who died in accidental fires last year eight had been receiving care at home, while the other two people died in fires at care homes - in the last financial year there were 10 fires a week in the capital’s care homes.
 
There are more than three million people over 80 years old in the UK today; this expected to double by 2030. This could mean more people having mobility problems and dementia, which are increasingly factors in fatal fires.
 

Book a home fire safety visit

Past research shows that vulnerable people are 18 times less likely to have a fire if they receive a visit from firefighters in their home.

We’re asking care staff to get in touch with their local fire and rescue service if they notice tell-tale signs like burn marks on carpets from cigarettes or a smoke alarm with a dead battery.
 
Book a home fire safety visit

Care workers in England can get information about fire safety from our Fire Safety pages.
 
Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter, who is hosting the social care summit, said:
 
“Care staff do a fantastic job of supporting people within our communities and we want to work with them to identify and potentially save those most vulnerable from dying in a tragic fire.
 
"We also want to see all residential care homes fitted with sprinklers. The number of care home fires that firefighters attend is clear evidence that builders, developers, local authorities and private providers need to stop ignoring their benefits.”