If you have elderly relatives living alone, you’ll get peace of mind from knowing that they are as protected as possible from the risk of fire. While elderly people are not necessarily more at risk of accidentally starting a fire, their relative frailty does put them more at risk should a fire begin. Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that the risk is minimised.

1. Think Smoke Alarms

Ideally, there should be a smoke alarm in each room of the house; at a minimum, ensure that alarms are strategically placed to protect the escape route from the bedroom.

Test smoke alarms regularly, at least once a month. Many people choose either the first or last day of the month in order to make it easier to remember.

Change the battery in each alarm at least once a year. It helps to do this on a memorable date such as a birthday, anniversary or holiday such as Valentine’s Day.

2. Check Electrical Equipment

Make sure that all flexes and cords are in good working order, and that plugs or extension leads are not overloaded.

If your relative has an electric blanket, check it for wear and tear, scorch marks and frays. If it has a BEAT safety mark, replace it with a new one as this will mean that the blanket is more than ten years old and does not meet current safety standards.

3. Encourage Safe Night Time Routines

Help your relative remember to switch off everything at night. Use post it notes by the bed to help them remember, if required. Likewise, teach them to close all doors overnight.

Keep a torch by your relative’s bedside in case they need it.

Make sure they know their escape route, and what to do if it is blocked.

Nobody likes to think of the worst happening, but some attention to detail and forward thinking will help your elderly relative to stay fire safe for longer.