In June 2023, a North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) paramedic referred a patient to us for a Home Fire Safety Assessment (HFSA), (internal webpage), using the Online Home Fire Safety Check Tool.
The fire safety concerns, highlighted in the referral, included smoking, impaired mobility, alcohol use, sensory impairment, clutter and medication with a sedative effect.
The case was triaged as very high risk, helped by the comprehensive referral. An HFSA was arranged promptly and delivered within four days of the referral being made.
During the visit, the Prevention Advisor who delivered it was able to discuss the various risks with the householder and take them into account to provide fire safety advice on cooking, electrical, heating and smoking safety. The advisor recorded a variety of mitigating factors already in place such as mobility aids in the home, support and care in place, annual servicing of the boiler by the housing provider and regular medication reviews with a GP.
To address the smoking-related fire risk, a fire retardant ‘throw’ was offered. The householder was provided with advice about how to access stop smoking services, should they decide to make a quit attempt. Safety advice was discussed.
The advisor tested the hard-wired, interlinked smoke and carbon monoxide alarms which were already in the property, to check they were working and in order. As the householder had a community alarm pendant, this was also tested during the visit.
Finally, advice was provided regarding bedtime routines and escape, including the importance of keeping escape routes clear. The householder received a copy of ‘Advice to Households’ (internal webpage) – a booklet summarising advice on fire safety in the home.