Healthcare equipment and products used in the home allow people to be cared for in familiar surroundings. Whilst these items can ease discomfort and improve healthcare outcomes, it is important to be aware that – in the event of a fire – they may increase the spread and intensity of the flames.
If you care for someone who needs specialist healthcare equipment, make sure that you always follow the manufacturer’s safety advice.
Dynamic airflow pressure relieving mattresses and overlays
These items are used to prevent and treat pressure sores and ulcers, which can be caused by extended periods of immobility. The mattress is filled with air by a pump, which adjusts pressure according to the patient’s needs.
When punctured by a heat source, such as a match, the escaping airflow can cause a fire to spread rapidly. The emergency battery back-up may continue to pump air, which can then cause the fire to burn longer.
- Never smoke near an airflow mattress, or let the person you care for smoke in bed.
- Keep ignition sources (candles, incense sticks or oil burner) away from airflow mattresses.
- Never use an electric blanket on an airflow mattress.
- Ensure that electrical equipment is well maintained and kept a safe distance from airflow mattresses.
- Keep fires and heaters away from airflow mattresses.
- Never place hot items like hairdryers or hair straighteners on airflow mattresses.
Incontinence pads and pants help people live at home with more dignity. However, these products are often supplied in large quantities and they can be bulky and difficult to store.
- Always store incontinence products away from heat sources such as heaters, candles, chargers or anywhere else that they are likely to be subject to heat or flame.
- Try not to store the supplies all in one place – ideally not next to the person’s bed or chair.
We offer free Safe & Well visits, where we come to the home at a convenient time to see what we can do together to make you or the person you care for safer. We will fit free smoke alarms where required.
To request a free Safe and Well Visit, please call 0800 038 2323 or click here.