Senior citizens aged 65 and older are more likely to die in a fire than the general population. Consequently, it is crucial for older citizens to understand the risks and take special precautions to be prepared for a fire. Below are several fire safety guidelines for seniors:
- Cooking when feeling sleepy, drowsy from medication or under the influence of alcohol is not recommended.
- Smoking around oxygen: it is highly dangerous to burn anything around oxygen, since fire needs oxygen to burn. If oxygen is in use, there is no safe way to smoke in the house.
- Supervising the stove when cooking food on an electrical or fire stove. A cooking timer can help remind seniors when to turn off the stove.
- Keeping a cane or wheel chair, hearing aid and glasses in the bedroom when sleeping. This will allow older citizens to quickly grab them in case of an emergency.
- Carrying a phone or keeping one nearby with emergency phone numbers. This way, seniors will be able to quickly call emergency personnel if trapped in the home by a fire.
- Sleeping in a room on the ground floor to be able to escape the home quickly in case of an emergency.
- Installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside any sleeping areas and on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced every fall.
- Using specialized smoke alarms, which come with vibration or flashing light, if anyone in the home is deaf or hard of hearing. More information about smoke alarms for people with hearing impairments can be found here.
- Practicing fire drills with everyone in the home to know how to escape the building in case of a fire. If a senior cannot escape alone, a trusted person should be designated to provide help when need be.
- Making sure that the home’s windows haven’t been sealed shut with nails or paint, in order to make it easy to escape through the windows (if necessary) in case of an emergency.
Families and caregivers are encouraged to consider these tips and help older adults take steps in preventing and preparing for a home fire. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.