Help is available for residents living with hoarding at home

The Council has marked National Hoarding Awareness Week by highlighting the help that is available for residents who may be living with hoarding.

It is estimated that hoarding affects between two and five per cent of the population. Excessive hoarding can contribute to health and safety issues including risk of fire and blocking of escape routes as well as contributing to underlying mental health problems.

Many people collect items, but for some people this becomes an unmanageable lifestyle.

There are services available that may be able to help – hoarding cases usually require a multi-agency approach to achieve the right balance between protecting those at risk with the individual’s right to live as they chose.

Hoarding can mean a high risk of fire, personal injury and damage to property and wherever possible the Council has a duty to ensure the safety of residents and of neighbouring households.

Hoarding is a recognised mental health problem which needs to be dealt with carefully and sensitively. There can be complex and diverse reasons that lead to hoarding behaviours and working with hoarding cases can be time consuming and stressful for all concerned.

If you need help or are concerned for someone’s safety and wellbeing please contact Torbay & Devon Safeguarding Adult Partnership or ask them to contact their GP for help and advice.

Devon & Cornwall Fire Service offer free home safety visits and can often install free smoke alarms and specialist equipment to help residents keep safe in their own homes. Home safety visits are free for:

  • Any household with children under the age of 18
  • Anyone aged over 65
  • Anyone with a disability, mobility issues or sensory loss
  • Anyone who smokes and lives alone
  • Anyone with a thatched property

Visit the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue website for further details: dsfire.gov.uk/safety/home/hoarding and to book a home visit.

For more information on hoarding exeter.gov.uk/housing/housing-homelessness-prevention-and-advice/hoarding/visit our webpage:  or contact Environmental Health on 01392 265147.

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