Fire Safety for Older Adults

Fires are a serious risk in colder seasons - and even more so for older adults and children - We have talked about many safety concerns for seniors, including Seniors and Scalding Burn InjuriesHelping to prevent falling at homeSeniors Staying Alone and special Winter Dangers for Seniors.

Seniors-FireNow let's take a look at how home firs risks may be a little different for the elderly:

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), older adults – ages 65 and older – are more likely to be injured during a fire.

It is important that older adults and their caregivers take steps to protect themselves from a fire in their home.

USFA has safety recommendations for older adults and their caregivers, which may include:

  • Have a smoke alarm that works for you and the functional needs that you have.  For example, many smoke alarms have lower decibel ranges for those who are hard of hearing. Others may have smoke alarms with strobes or separate bed shaker. There are also smoke alarms with long-lasting batteries for someone with a mobility disability or vision loss.
  • Have conversations with household members, caregivers and friends about your fire safety plan.  Develop and test an escape plan that works for you and your household if you live in a single family home.  If you live in multi-level housing such as an apartment or high-rise building, know your evacuation plan.
  • Take in consideration any additional items you may need to take with you quickly. For example, keep any devices such as wheelchairs, canes, eyeglasses and hearing aids in a consistent place so you can get out quickly;

For more information about how to protect older adults in your family or community, visit the USFA website.

Fire emergencies and the need to evacuate go hand in hand. Being able to safely and efficiently vacate the premises is imperative to your health and survival. Our fire evacuation supplies offer the tools needed to cautiously and successfully leave the vicinity and should be readily available in every home as well as private and public business buildings.
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