Award-winning project in South Yorkshire protects people with dementia from house fires

People with dementia are at an increased risk from house fires, says the brigade
People with dementia are at an increased risk from house fires, says the brigade
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An award-winning project is helping to protect people with dementia from house fires in South Yorkshire.

Having dementia significantly increases the risk of causing an accidental fire at home, especially when cooking or smoking.

But South Yorkshire Dementia Action Alliances teamed up with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to reduce the danger.

Together they highlighted the hazards to a range of organisations working with those who have dementia and their carers, and helped them implement a number of simple safety measures.

Their efforts, under the Dementia Fire and Home Safety Project, earned them the 'best organisation' gong at the Doncaster Dementia Awards, held at Doncaster College.

Steve Helps, area manager for the fire service, said: "In the last decade, the fire service has helped to make South Yorkshire safer than it has been at any time in its history in terms of house fires and fire related deaths and injuries. But we believe we can play a much wider role in terms of tackling some of the big health challenges our country faces in the future.

"This project is the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where we use the coordinated efforts and expertise of those at the frontline of dementia care to improve the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups in society."

The project saw coordinators promote the brigade's home safety check service and create a safety campaign targeting people with dementia - which affects more than 15,000 people across South Yorkshire - and their carers.

The measures implemented ranged from fitting fire guards to installing timer switches so hobs automatically turn off when left unattended for too long.

The fire service hosts a monthly memory café at Adwick fire station in Doncaster for people with dementia and their carers.