People who use emollients and smoke are at greater risk of setting themselves on fire, due to the flammable residue that may be left on clothes, bandages and bedding, warns the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).
The warning comes after research from Anglia Ruskin University, De Montfort University and the NFCC’s Emollient Group confirmed that both paraffin and non-paraffin emollients can act as an accelerant when absorbed into clothing and exposed to naked flames or other heat sources. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has partnered with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), Fire and Rescue Services and health charities in a new campaign to raise awareness of the fire risk and the precautions that need to be taken by users of skin creams.
Emollient products, which include creams, ointments, sprays and body wash formulations are used by millions of people every day to manage dry, itchy or scaly skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis. They may contain paraffin or other ingredients such as shea or cocoa butter, beeswax, lanolin, nut oil or mineral oils which can leave a flammable residue.
Commonly prescribed by GPs, nurses and other clinicians – as well as being available in chemists and supermarkets – emollients are not flammable in themselves. The risk occurs when they absorb into fabrics and are then exposed to naked flames or heat sources resulting in a fire that burns quickly and intensely and can cause serious injury or death.
Testing confirmed that the flammability increases each time the fabric is contaminated with emollient and the risk is greater when applied over large parts of the body. Repeated washing of clothing, bandages and bedding at any temperature does not remove the fire risk.
Over 60’s who smoke and have reduced mobility are those most at risk and NFCC is urging them, their families and carers to be alert to the inherent fire risk and updated fire safety advice. The NFCC urges they are mindful if smoking or using sources of heat and flame such as lighters, matches, electric/halogen heaters, gas hobs and candles.
NFCC is aware that there have been 56 deaths confirmed as
involving emollient in England since 2010. In addition, six of the 44 fire deaths
reported in Scotland in 2018/19 involved emollient products.
The NFCC is working with Fire and Rescue Services to ensure
the fire risks associated with emollients are understood by staff and discussed
during home fire safety visits.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have produced the below leaflet and 7 minute briefing to provide more information about the fire risk associated with emollient creams:
Making Safeguarding Personal
Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is “a sector led initiative which aims to develop an ‘outcomes focus’ to safeguarding work, with a range of responses to support people to improve or resolve their circumstances” (Social Care Institute for Excellence).
In simpler terms, MSP means listening and putting the person at the centre of the enquiry, investigation or process.
More specifically, MSP is an initiative which aims to develop a person-centred and outcomes focus to safeguarding work by supporting people to improve or resolve their circumstances. It is applicable to all agencies working with adults in relation to safeguarding, including those at the initial stages of a safeguarding concern being identified.
The LSAB has developed a guidance document which is intended to explain MSP and provide agencies with a simple framework which can be used to help practitioners engage with adults, understand what they want, and achieve the desired outcomes, without losing sight of the importance of keeping them safe.
To view the 7 minute briefing on Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP), please click on the link below:
To view the 7 minute briefing, which contains information on how the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) can apply to 16 and 17 year olds, please click on the link below:
To view the 7 minute briefing which contains information on using professional curiosity during Covid-19, please click on the below:
to view the 7 minute briefing on concealed and denied pregnancy, please click on the link below:
To view the 7 minute briefing on capacity for sex and marriage, please click on the link below:
To view the Channel 7 Minute Briefing, please click on the link below. Information includes how you can make a referral, how will the person be involved the process, and what does Channel support look like.
To view the 7 minute briefing on Covid-19 and Safeguarding for volunteers, please click on the link below. This covers the background, why it matters, information on who we are safeguarding, the different types of abuse, what to do, and questions to consider.
Please find below a poster for your information, which details the Domestic Abuse Services and how they are operating in Blackburn with Darwen during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also some information on the below that you may find useful to share with your service users, including how to keep yourself safe when isolating with an abuser.