Caring for an Emollient user

Fire safety advice for those caring for emollient users

If you are responsible for caring for somebody who uses emollient products, such as creams, sprays, liquids or gels, your risk assessments and care provision should take into account the fire risk and fire safety advice described above.

This is especially important if the person is a smoker (internal webpage) or oxygen user, has a condition that could cause memory loss, confusion or drowsiness, or would be unable to respond if a fire started. You should:

  • ensure that the person using the emollient product is aware of the fire risk and is provided with fire safety advice as appropriate

  • ensure that risk information is shared appropriately with family members and/or others who provide care or services to the person

View our emollient user advice page (internal webpage)

  • put in additional control measures if the person is unwilling or unable to implement the fire safety advice. For example, if a person who uses an emollient is unwilling or unable to stop smoking, you will need to talk to them about measures such as a smoking apron or supervised smoking practice

  • make sure there is appropriate smoke detection in place. In a domestic property, there should be a minimum of one working smoke alarm on every floor of the home. It may be advisable to fit additional alarms depending on risk

  • advise the person you care for to test their alarms at least monthly. If they are unable to do this, test them for the person or identify somebody else who can do this at least monthly

  • if they would be unable to escape without help in the event of a fire, identify an appropriate solution for raising the alarm. For example, smoke detection linked to a tele-care system

If you are prescribing or dispensing emollient products

Those that prescribe, dispense and apply these products should tell their patients/customers about the fire risk and associated fire safety advice.

Prescribers who have switched patients to a lower paraffin product or a paraffin-free alternative should be aware that this will not reduce the risk.