What you can do
- If you know a friend, family member, or someone you care for is hoarding, talk to them about our free home safety visit service.
- A friendly fire safety technician will visit them in their home to give advice and guidance without judgement or embarrassment.
- If someone wants to get rid of items, professional help is available. There is a register of professional declutterers who can work with people to support them to remove excess belongings.
Safety tips to prevent a fire in a hoarder’s home
If someone you know lives in a home that is full of belongings, help them to live more safely by:
- helping them to plan and practise a fire escape plan. Stress the importance of clear routes and exits in case of a fire. Practise the plan often. Exit routes may change as new items are brought into the home.
- installing working smoke alarms in the home. Test them every week (or at least once a month).
- making sure flammable items (such as tea towels, dishcloths and clothes) are kept away from portable heaters, the stove or the oven
- checking electrical wiring - it may be old or worn from the weight of their possessions. Pests can chew on wires. Damaged wires can start fires.
- helping them to manage their paperwork - newspapers and mail are particularly flammable. Recycle newspapers and post as soon as it is finished with. In the event of a fire, they would cause it to spread rapidly.
- encouraging safer smoking habits such as smoking outside, discarding cigarettes in a suitable ashtray, and regularly emptying ashtrays. Find out more about how to support a friend who is a smoker.
Book a home safety visit and we’ll install free smoke alarms and specialist equipment and have a conversation with the person about keeping safe in their home.