Elderly more at risk from fires

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Older people suffering fuel poverty are more at risk from fires with people aged 80 and over accounting for 40 per cent of deaths from portable heaters so be careful with the electric blankets and Supersers.

That’s according to Foyle MP Mark Durkan who is supporting a campaign by the charity Electrical Safety First to address the issue.

Mr Durkan said: “Many older people worry about winter fuel bills and use portable heaters and electric blankets to keep warm without heating their entire home.

“Electrical Safety First’s campaign highlights how, by taking just a few moments to ensure electrical sockets, wires and cords are in good condition and sockets aren’t overloaded, this could make a real difference to the safety of older relatives and friends”.

The charity is also calling for a free, five-yearly electrical safety check for all households with one person aged over 75 and statutory, five-yearly checks in all care homes. It has also developed information packs to help keep older people electrically safe this winter, which can be downloaded from http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-older-people/