Fire Safety for Senior Citizens

Did you know that people over the age of 65 are twice as likely to die or be injured in a fire than 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 these important fire safety tips.

Smoke Alarms

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 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 your or give us a call.
  • Change your smoke alarm batteries twice per year. A good rule of thumb to follow: change your clocks; change your smoke alarm 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 home, especially bathrooms.
  • 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 may 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 electrical cords.

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 cabinets so the items you need for cooking are not stored directly above the stove.
  • Keep your curtains, oven mitts, pot holders, and towels away from the stove.
  • If you have an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed.
  • Keep you 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.