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How To Keep Seniors Safe From Fires

Senior at home in her apartment
unsplash-logoMariia Chalaya

By Cassandra Small

Did you know that closing your bedroom door at night could save your life? Studies show that, in house fires, carbon monoxide levels are ten times higher in rooms with an open door than those where doors are closed. Seniors are three times more likely to die from fire-related incidents than younger generations, making fire safety a particular priority for older generations. Being fire-conscious at home goes a long way to keeping houses safe. However, it is important to take extra security measures when it comes to seniors, in order to keep them safe from fire hazards. Even a seemingly trivial adjustment within a home can make all the difference to a senior's wellbeing.

Be Aware of Fire Hazards

It can be helpful to home fire is reported every 86 seconds in America, usually as a result of cooking. It is, therefore, crucial to have a fully-functioning and easily-accessible fire extinguisher in the kitchen, which the resident(s) knows how to use. Keep kitchen appliances away from water, and sockets and plastic must be kept far from hot surfaces. Meanwhile, make sure that smoke detectors are in every room, and test them regularly.

Devise a Fire Escape Plan

Once your smoke alarm goes off, you only have about three minutes to exit your home safely. This means it is critical that you know how to get out quickly. Inspect all the possible exits throughout the home and ensure they are easy to get to. Have the route drawn up and placed on a wall in each room in a visible spot. Finally, make sure all residents and visitors are aware of the fire escape plan and understand it.

Remove any Tripping Hazards

Falls account for most of elderly injuries at home, and it is vital to bear this in mind when assessing a senior's place of residence; if a fire were to break out and a senior falls when trying to flee from their home, the consequences could be fatal. Well-fitting, supportive footwear is therefore crucial. Just as important is to address the safety of each room in the home. Make sure gangways are clear of obstacles, floors are even and supportive handrails are placed in the bathroom and bedroom. Keep everyday things such as cooking and eating utensils within easy reach and have light switches and plug sockets fixed between midriff and shoulder height. This will minimize the likelihood of overstretching and losing balance.

Fire Safety for Seniors: Small Steps go a Long Way

Fire safety among seniors is of paramount importance given the physical and cognitive frailties that naturally occur with age. Keeping a senior safe in their home does not require any major adjustments, however. It just means being mindful of potential fire hazards and making the necessary adjustments in response.

Cassandra Small is a writer in the United Kingdom
Life Safety
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