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Free smoke alarms for stair lift users

11th February 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Stair lift users and members of the elderly community who are living with mobility issues in the Hull area are now eligible for the installation of a free sprinkler system in their homes. This scheme has been running for close to two years in and around Hull and looks to dramatically reduce the risk of elderly smokers being trapped by fire. The scheme, which was piloted in 2012, has already been credited with saving lives in four separate instances and 16 more sprinkler systems are now set to be installed as a result of this success.

The scheme is being implemented by the local fire service, who have seen first-hand the positive effects it has had already. The sprinkler systems are freely available to elderly residents who live alone, smoke and have mobility issues – such as those which would necessitate the use of a home stair lift - which could see them struggle to escape a fire.

The scheme

While the system costs £3,500 to buy and £75-£150 each year to maintain, the fire service have said how this is a small price to pay to save countless lives in the area. Additionally, it actually works out that it could save the taxpayer money as each fire death equates to around £1 million when you take into account coroner’s courts and fire service reports, according to Andrew Brown, the area’s fire service community safety manager.

The sprinkler scheme has added extra reassurance to those with mobility issues in the area, as elderly residents who require the use of an electric rise and recliner chair or other mobility aids would find it ‘difficult to escape a house fire’. The fire service, however, have said that their biggest concern with the scheme is not that they might have a shortage of sprinklers but that not enough people will accept them. Andrew Brown explained in this article, “People can be quite reluctant. It's amazing what people won't have, even when they don't have to pay for it”.

Image Credit: Andrew Magill (flickr.com)