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C - Care and Cooking

Care and Support Needs - Guidance Notes for risk rating

Living with a disability or ill health that requires care and support can increase a person’s vulnerability to fire. Failing health also decreases a person’s ability to survive an injury or cope with a traumatic experience such as a house fire.

As part of a Safe & Well visit, NFRS will talk to the occupier about their needs and offer support to make referrals to our partners to improve care where needed.

The person’s CHARLIE-P score should reflect whether there are unmet needs at the time of the visit.

Score 1 2 4 8 10
Descriptor Rare Unlikely Possible Likely Almost certain
C Care and support needs No care or support needs In receipt of care and support package that meets the level of need Support in place but not deemed adequate No support in place but concerns for health and welfare No support in place but significant concerns for health and welfare
  1. 1 - Rare - No care or support needs

    The individual is independent with activities of daily living (washing and dressing, cooking, medication compliance, shopping)

  2. 2 - Unlikely - In receipt of a care package that meets the level of need

    We understand that every individual’s care needs vary and for some people, a smaller care package is appropriate. People with this score already have care that meets their needs.

  3. 4 - Possible - Support in place but not deemed adequate

    This score is used when an individual has existing support but needs additional help with an activity of daily living, such as:

    • Personal care
    • Meal preparation
    • Medication management
    • Shopping

    We would also use this score if the care in place is not adequately supporting the person to use fire safety equipment (such as putting on flame-retardant bedding) or helping them to manage unsafe smoking practices (not emptying ashtrays, leaving people to smoke in bed).

  4. 8 - Likely - No support in place and concerns for health and welfare

    Here, the individual does not have any care or support and is unable to perform at least one activity of daily living independently.

    They may also:

    • be unable to safely heat their home (e.g, unsafe use of gas or coal fires)
    • be unable to use fire safety equipment independently (e.g. fire-retardant bedding)
    • requires equipment, minor adaptations, or assistive technology to remain safe and independent
  5. 10 - Extremely Likely - No support in place and significant concerns for health and welfare

    Here we would include any examples from the previous column, plus:

    • significant evidence of poor medication management (stockpiled medication)
    • significant self-neglect of diet (limited or no food in property)
    • significant self-neglect of hygiene (ill-fitting clothing, and unclean appearance)
    • significant environmental concerns (dangerous or unsafe home environment including infestation)

Cooking - Guidance Notes for risk rating

Over half of all the fires that NFRS attend start in the kitchen and the majority are caused by unattended cooking, a build-up of grease and fat in the cooker, or by kitchen mishaps, where items such as chopping boards have been left on the hob.

This reflects a nationwide trend in domestic fires. 48% of accidental dwelling fires in the UK in 2019/20 were caused by cooking and these fires accounted for 14% of fire fatalities in that time.

Score 1 2 4 8 10
Descriptor Rare Unlikely Possible Likely Almost certain
C Cooking No concerns Meal/Drink preparation completed by others Client completes own drink and meal preparation - health may impact on kitchen safety Client completes own drink and meal preparation - concerns identified by client / others Actual fire incident (prior to Safe and Well visit) in last 12 months

The CHARLIE-P score should reflect any risks associated with the individual's ability to cook safely.

  1. 1- Rare

    No Concerns

  2. 2 - Unlikely

    Meal / drink preparation completed by others

  3. 4 - Possible

    Client completes own drink and meal preparation where health may impact on kitchen safety

    We would use this score when there is no evidence of any previous fires, but where an individual’s health and skills might impact their cooking activities, including:

    • Physical difficulties - carrying objects / gripping tools / becomes fatigued or unsteady during cooking / visual impairment impacts the use of equipment
    • Cognitive difficulties - poor concentration, easily distracted from tasks, cannot retain information to operate appliances, poor motivation
  4. 8 - Likely

    Client completes own drink and meal preparation but concerns have been identified by client / others

    This score can be used when there is reason to have concerns about cooking safety (such as leaving food unattended on the hob, leaving flammable materials near a source of ignition, cluttered cooking environment impacting cooking safety)

    This score should also include:

    • unsafe use of appliances or using inappropriate equipment to cook
    • unsafe use of hot oil
    • unable to retain kitchen fire safety advice
    • where smoke alarms/heat detectors in the kitchen or adjacent spaces have been removed / taken down
    • evidenced gas safety issues
  5. 10 - Extremely Likely

    Actual fire incident prior to Safe and Well visit in last 12 months Use this score if there has been a cooking fire in the past 12 months.

    The new CHARLIE-P asks that any evidence of a ‘near-miss’ with cooking (including times that did not escalate into an actual fire) is scored as a 10. Please use this score if you see any physical evidence such as burnt /blackened pans, burnt flammable materials (such as tea towels), or scorch marks on work surfaces or cupboards.

Any concerns?

  • Initiation - Is the individual able to start tasks without being prompted?
  • Awareness of time - Does the individual recall how long the food has been cooking for?
  • Stopping - Can the individual understand when to stop cooking?
  • Judgment and risk evaluation - Does the individual understand the risk of poor cooking practices?
  • Attention span - Can the individual complete cooking without getting distracted?
  • Memory - Can the individual remember that they have started cooking?