Fire Safety for Seniors
Beyond the age of 65, older people are increasingly at risk from accidental fires that can quickly turn fatal. Learn how to keep your elderly relatives safe in the event of a fire.
Seniors may be affected by health issues such as reduced mobility and poor eyesight and hearing. There are several factors to consider for keeping seniors safe:
- Electrical blankets can be a source of fires, particularly if the blanket has any frayed cords or is left on for many hours at a time
- Buy large, deep, non-tip ashtrays to prevent cigarettes falling out, in case your senior relative nods off while smoking.
- Take all the ashtrays out of the bedroom. Falling asleep while smoking in bed is the number one cause of fires with seniors.
- Older electrical appliances that have been around for 30 or more years may have frayed wires. Check them out thoroughly.
- Buy a timer as a reminder to turn off burners or the oven.
- Put a smoke detector outside every bedroom and check them once a month.
- Consider getting wheels-on-meals to deliver or having someone help out with the cooking, if your senior relative is taking medication that makes them sleepy.
- Seniors can be attached to their belongings. If they are unduly anxious about losing prized possesions in a fire, make up a bag with their most precious belongings inside or invest in a fire proof safe. You don’t want them being delayed while leaving a burning building because they are rescuing belongings.
- Test the escape route and always have two available routes. If one of the escape routes is through a window make sure it’s easy to open. Any security bars on doors and windows should have quick releases.
- Make sure your senior knows where all fire exits are. If you live in a retirement home or care facility and need assistance find out what kind of evacuation plan is in place.
Learn more about fire safety and prevention:
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