Fire Safety at Home:
Tips for Seniors
November is the perfect time to start using fireplaces or outdoor fire pits to stay warm. Before doing so, it’s important for seniors to educate themselves on fire safety tips. Afterall, adults over the age of 65 have a greater risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries due to house fires, and seniors represent 40% of fire-related deaths. Here are four prevention tips for house fires and what to do if there is a fire in your home.
Have an Escape Route In Advance
It’s important to note where fire exits are in any room that you are in. Practice where to go in case of an emergency and how to quickly get there. Ideally, you want to have two separate paths out of a bedroom or living space in case one becomes blocked.
Clear a Path
In case of an emergency, it’s imperative to have a clear path for easy accessibility out of a building. This is especially crucial for individuals who use a wheelchair or walker and need a more thoughtful path. Be sure next to the bedside is clear so seniors can get out quickly in the middle of the night if needed.
Have a Fire Extinguisher
Did you know fire extinguishers expire? In order to be fully prepared, make sure you have a working and easily accessible fire extinguisher and know how to operate it. It’s recommended to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Speaking of kitchens, consider creating a habit of unplugging a toaster after each use. If you have a smart home device, you could create a daily reminder to check all burners and the oven before bed to ensure they are turned off. “Alexa, remind me every night at 7:30 pm to check the kitchen appliances.”
Take Necessary Precautions
While smoke detectors are in most homes, make sure it suits your needs. For those hard of hearing, smoke detectors with flashing lights or bed vibrations can be purchased. It is sound advice to change all alarm batteries twice a year over the long weekends of Memorial Day and Labor Day. This will also prevent any middle-of-the-night beeping from a dying alarm battery!
Other Fire Safety Tips:
- Opt for battery-powered candles instead of traditional candles.
- Don’t smoke near oxygen tanks, even if they’re not in use.
- Don’t leave your stove top unattended. If you have a flat/glass stovetop, do not treat it like counter space and try not to set anything other than pots or pans for immediate cooking purposes on it.
- Have lids nearby in case of a grease fire, and never put water on a grease fire!
- Don’t wear loose clothing while using a stove top.
- Never smoke in bed, and have an ashtray available if you are smoking inside.
- Don’t use appliances that have frayed or broken cords.
At I-CARE, we help make communities and families stronger by enabling individuals of all ages and abilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives. Contact us today to learn how we can help 703-865-5893.