London

Carers to receive advice in spotting house fire risks

Carers are to be given new advice on spotting those at risk of house fires, including smokers and those with mental health issues.

One person receiving care is dying from a fire every month in London on average, according to a London Fire Brigade (LFB) report.

It said in the last three years, 36 out of 119 accidental fire deaths involved people accessing some form of care.

The advice will form part of care workers' inductions.

This includes those who care for people in their own homes, in sheltered accommodation and in care homes.

'Tell tale signs'

All but three of the 36 people noted in LFB's report who died in accidental fire deaths smoked.

Half had mental health issues and 14 were known to drink alcohol.

LFB said care workers are often the first to see "tell tale signs" of risk such as burn marks on carpets from cigarettes or smoke alarms that have run out of batteries.

The Care Quality Commission requires that a care provider demonstrates their service meets essential fire safety standards.

The induction standards for care workers and managers developed by training agency Skills for Care have always had a fire safety element, said LFB.

But a new leaflet includes guidance on how to access free advice from the fire service.

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