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Fire Safety Advice for Emollient Cream Users

Emollient creams are moisturisers that come in different forms such as lotions, gels or cream. They are used to treat dry skin and other conditions such as:

  • Bed Sores
  • Ulcers
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

They contain a flammable ingredient, Paraffin which can pose a risk if they are not used safely. Anyone using emollients or other Paraffin based products should use and store them away from fire and naked flames. If the person using the emollient cream is spending extended periods in bed due to decreased mobility or illness, a build-up of residue can occur on bedding, clothing and dressings. This can increase flammability and the risk of fire.

Top Tips:

  • Do not smoke, use naked flames (or be near people who are smoking or using naked flames) or go near to anything else which may cause a fire whilst these products are in contact with your clothes, dressings or bandages.
  • If you do smoke, where possible use fire retardant covers, bedding and/or blankets.
  • Ensure smoking materials are safely put out, on a flat surface away from the emollient cream.
  • Ensure that your clothing and bedding are changed regularly (preferably daily) as the paraffin soaks into the fabrics and can potentially be a fire hazard. You should also be careful to make sure that the paraffin does not soak into chairs, seating or other furniture. A throw could be used to cover furniture.
  • Do not sit too close to open fires and portable heaters.
  • Emollients may not be suitable to use if you require the use of oxygen or air flow pressure relieving equipment. A Healthcare professional can advise on alternative and safer products.
  • Do tell your health care professional or carer if there is a change in your medical or health condition which might compromise your fire safety within your home. For instance, if you are prescribed medication that cause drowsiness, your mobility declines significantly, or you experience memory issues.
  • Share advice with friends, family or carers who support you.

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