AT and telecare to manage fire risks in the homes of older and vulnerable people
DOUGHTY Kevin, ORTON Mike
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify opportunities where technology interventions could help manage the risks associated with fire and explosions in homes of people who are older or who are vulnerable through other causes such as mental health problems or a history of substance abuse. Design/methodology/approach: The approach focused on reviewing the latest available statistics in order to identify the major causes and rooms in which fire accidents occurred. Findings: The authors found that the number of incidents and fatalities continues to decrease as a result of preventive measures such as a greater use of smoke detectors, but that there remained issues with cooking safety. New products for limiting damage and managing risks are available which could have a positive impact. Research limitations/implications: The paper concludes that the challenges are making both professionals and the public aware of the available technologies and of introducing them following appropriate assessment of needs and risks. Practical implications: Greater resources need to be offered for training of the public and of health and safety professionals. Further funding may be needed to implement the introduction of new technology. Originality/value: This is the most up-to-date review of fire control measures employing assistive technology and telecare for domestic properties and will be of value to community health teams, adults care organisations, housing associations and other public bodies.