Fire safety for the elderly at the chemists

Shrewsbury pensioner Henry Kurek (86), of Hereford Road, pops into his local Lunt Pharmacy to pick up medicine where he can get information about a free home fire safety check. Left to right, pharmacist Ruth Jones, firefighters Simon Roberts and Stuart Dryden with Mr Kurek

Firefighters and pharmacists have joined forces in an innovative campaign to help the elderly in Shropshire.

The dual initiative aims to improve fire safety in pensioners' homes and organise a free medicine safety check at the same time.

During regular home fire safety checks, firefighters will leave information for pensioners giving them details of how their local pharmacist can give advice on the medicines they are taking.

Pensioners arriving at their local chemist to hand in a prescription or pick up medicines will be given a postcard containing information about how to get a free home fire safety check.

The information swap was the idea of John Das Gupta, Group Manager for Community Fire Safety for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, who believes that the scheme will contribute towards reducing house fires in homes occupied by the elderly.

"Elderly people were the victims in three out of four of the latest deaths in house fires in the county. This is just one of many schemes which will help us to target the elderly who are vulnerable when it comes to house fires."


Pharmacist Ruth Jones with crew manager Simon Roberts.


Lindsey Fairbrother, Shropshire's Service Development Manager for the county' pharmaceutical committee, said that both firefighters and pharmacists had been trained in promoting each other's safety initiatives.

"A lot of people may have questions about their medication and any side effects and we are here to help and advise them. We want to let them know that they can call into any one of the county's 77 chemists to have their medicines checked and to get a qualified pharmacist to answer any questions they may have.

"The Medicine Use Review is a free service and available at people's local pharmacy."

For information on a home fire safety check, contact the community fire safety department on 01743 260260.


5th May, 2009