Fire Safety for Senior Citizens: Important Fire Safety Tips
Don’t become a statistic-Practice Fire Safety!
Did you know that people over the age of 65 are twice as likely to die or be injured in a fire as the population at large? By age 75, that risk increases to three times and by age 85, four times. Those are scary numbers, but you don’t have to become another statistic. Just follow the important fire safety tips laid out in this brochure:
A working smoke alarm can more than double your chances of surviving a fire.
*Be sure to have a smoke alarm on every level of your home and all in all sleeping areas.
*Make sure everyone in your home is awakened by the sound of the smoke alarm. If someone is hearing impaired, invest in an alarm that uses flashing lights or some other visual aid.
*Test your smoke alarms once a month. If this is difficult for you, ask a neighbor or family member to assist you.
*Change your smoke alarm batteries twice a year. A good rule of thumb to follow change your clocks; change your batteries.
Fire Escape Planning:
If you are still using the same escape route you used when the kids still lived at home, it’s time for a new one!
*Sit down with all household members and discuss your escape plan.
*Plan at least two ways out of each room of your house, especially the bedrooms.
*Consider any limitations you may have that would keep you from implementing your plan.
*If any family member will need assistance, remember to plan accordingly.
*Make sure that your exits are wheelchair or walker accessible, if necessary.
*Put your plan to the test and practice it.
Tips for Smokers:
Do you know what is the leading cause of fire deaths among Americans 65 years and older? It’s careless smoking!
*Never smoke in bed.
*Do not smoke if you are feeling drowsy, if you are drinking or if you are taking medication that make you drowsy.
*Use large deep ashtrays and never leave smoking materials unattended.
*Empty your ashtrays frequently but never throw hot ashes in the garbage. Wet the contents of the ashtray and then dispose of them.
Electrical and Heating safety:
Always install and maintain heating and electrical equipment properly.
*Do not store newspapers, rags or other combustible materials near a furnace, space heater or hot water heater.
*Keep at least three feet between space heaters and things like curtains, furniture etc.
*Do not run extension cords under furniture or rugs.
*Do not overload electrical outlets.
*Do not allow pets to chew on electrical cords.
*Be extremely cautious when using kerosene heaters. Never use any other fuel in kerosene heaters other than kerosene and never refill them hot.
*If you are having an electrical or heating problem, call a trained professional to have the problem fixed properly.
Kitchen Fire Safety:
Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire injuries among older adults.
*Never leave your stove unattended! Always be sure to closely watch what you are cooking.
*Keep your pot and pan handles turned inward.
*Do not reach above the stove for anything while cooking. This may require reorganizing your things in your cupboards so the items you need for cooking are not stored directly above the stove.
*Keep your curtains, oven mitts, potholders and towels away from the stove.
*If you have an over fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed.
*Keep your kitchen clean to cut down on grease buildup.
*Do not wear loose or frilly clothing while cooking.
*Never use water on a grease fire. Smother the fire with a lid or baking soda.
*Never use your stove as a heating device.
*Always turn your stove off when you are finished cooking.
What to do if there is a fire:
A home fire is an experience no one would like to have but if one does happen to you, if you have prepared you can survive:
*When the smoke alarm sound, get out of bed and stay low to the floor.
*Feel the door. If it is cool, open it slowly and get to the nearest exit. If the door is warm or hot, follow your alternate escape route.
*Do not stop to collect valuables or pets. Most pets will find their own way out.
*If you are unable to leave your room, call the fire department and be sure to tell the dispatcher that you are trapped. Then you can try to seal the door with wet towels, duct tape etc.
*When you get out, stay out! Never reenter a burning building.
*Disclaimer: This information came from a pamphlet from the Alert-All Corporation, and I give them full credit on the information. Please check out their website at http://www.alertall.com.
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