Seniors are at risk when it comes to fire hazards in their homes, especially those that begin accidentally. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), at age 65, people are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the population at large. Seniors can be particularly vulnerable to these fires because of their reduced mobility and alertness.
All Seasons Homecare, which provides Pleasant Hill home care, suggests these five fire safety tips and escapes plans for seniors.
1. Place a Fire Extinguisher in Every Area of the Home
One of the basic rules of homeownership is placing fire extinguishers throughout your home. More than one extinguisher is necessary if you live in a large home or if you are elderly who cannot move around easily.
Make sure there is a fire extinguisher near every fire hazard, and that the extinguishers are full and functional. Lastly, don’t position the extinguishers too near the hazard. The fire extinguishers should be safely accessible during emergencies.
2. Install an Alarm System
Most fatal fires occur while people are asleep, and since smoke can put you into a deeper sleep instead of arousing you, it is crucial to have a mechanical early warning of a fire so you will wake up.
Consider installing a smoke alarm that uses flashing lights or vibrations to alert your loved one to a fire emergency if they are deaf or have diminished hearing. In addition to smoke alarms, install approved carbon monoxide detectors if there are any gas or fuel-burning appliances in your home.
3. Practice Safe Cooking
Fires caused by cooking are the number one cause of home fires. Older adults also suffer burns as a result of cooking. Here are some safety cooking tips from All Seasons Homecare:
- Keep an eye on cooking when frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. Stay in the kitchen to prevent fires or burns.
- Shut off the stove when leaving the kitchen, even for a short time.
- If your loved one is simmering, baking, or roasting food, be assured they will keep an eye on it. They may want to use a timer to remind them to keep checking.
- To prevent pots from being knocked off the stove, turn the handles away from the stove.
- Keep the oven and stovetop clean after each use.
- Remove any flammable items away from the stove before they ignite.
- After cooking in the kitchen, ensure the oven, burners, and other appliances are off.
4. Practice Electrical Safety
The chances of electrical fires are more likely in older homes as these homes might not be as well-equipped as newer homes. They might be in poor repair and also may lack certain safety features. These safety tips can help seniors to avoid electrical-related fire hazards.
- If your loved one frequently experiences blown fuses or circuit breakers, hire a licensed electrician to inspect the electrical system.
- Change outlets if the plugs do not go in securely or if the outlet will not accept plugs of different shapes.
- Do not use extension cords. Hire a licensed electrician to inspect the home and determine if more outlets are needed.
- Match the light bulb’s wattage to the lamp’s or light fixture’s recommendation.
- Please ensure your loved one doesn’t overload electrical circuits by adding too many devices.
5. Have an Emergency Exit Plan
Discussing what to do in case of fire can make the difference between life and death. It’s best to practice moving as quickly as possible to the designated meeting place outside. Your loved one should be in a home with a smoke alarm. Remind them to evacuate as soon as they hear a blaring siren.
As part of your preparation:
- Plan for exit routes that begin in each and every room.
- Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside are easy to open.
- Remove all clutter that may block the escape route or cause tripping or falling.
- Establish a safe and far-away location where the police, firefighters, and ambulance personnel can see you.
- Practice the fire escape plan at least twice a year.
- When trying to leave an apartment, use the stairs, not the elevator.
Pleasant Hill Home Care
At All Seasons Homecare, based in Pleasant Hill, CA, we believe that proactive preparation is significant for seniors’ safety. Our experienced team can help your loved one continue to stay at home with essential personal care.
If you or an aging loved one needs assistance with activities of daily living around the house, like cooking meals or taking medications on time, don’t wait any longer to get professional care in Pleasant Hill. We offer personalized care plans that range from 4-hour increment respite care to 24-hour long term support.
Get started with our Contra Costa County senior services today!