Sadly, the older generation are at a significantly higher risk to electrical hazards and accidents within their homes. Figures show that a shocking 12 accidental electrical fires occur every single day in the homes of older people living alone. We are urging for people to regularly check up on their older relatives, neighbours and friends to do a simple visual check of their house to identify any faults or warning signs that could lead to an electrical fire.
Local North Cornwall hero, Dan Climo, knows first-hand the need to check in on older people in the community who may be living alone as he risked his own life to save his 87-year-old neighbour Brian during a dangerous electrical fire that consumed his house.
While Dan was out in his turkey field, he noticed the smell of burning coming from Brian’s bungalow. When he went to investigate, he found Brian’s home encompassed in a thick black smoke stemming from the bedroom window.
“I knew I had to act quickly as I was sure he was inside. I desperately rushed over to the burning building, jumped over his wall and ran inside. I discovered Brian lying unconscious half way out of his bedroom, he had clearly tried to escape but was overcome by the amount of smoke in his room. His hands were badly burnt too.”
Dan then managed to pull Brian, who had inhaled a lot of smoke and had passed out, to safety. Thankfully Brian has since recovered, thanks to Dan’s quick thinking, but things could have turned out very differently if he wasn’t able to get to him as quickly as he did, especially since Brian didn’t have a fire alarm fitted.
“I was really shocked by the whole thing, you don’t expect something like this to happen on your doorstep and I’m just glad that Brian was OK.”
The cause of the fire was found to be an electric blanket, a common electrical item found in many homes across the UK, especially as winter approaches.
Brian’s story serves as a real reminder to check up on older people who live alone, check that their appliances aren’t dangerous or looking a little worse for wear and that they have an alarm fitted which could save their life.
For tips on how you can help keep your older relatives safe visit https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/blog/keeping-your-family-safe-for-electrical-fire-safety-week/ or https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-older-people/
More posts by Samantha Mager