Seniors have a nearly 3-time higher risk of dying in a fire than others do, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For those over age 85, the risk is nearly 4 times higher.
Here are some tips to help seniors better protect themselves against the dangers of a fire.
- Keep any hearing aids, canes, glasses, and similar assistive devices near your bed, in case you need to make a quick escape from a fire at night.
- Consider living on a ground floor, which makes it easier for you to leave if a fire occurs.
- Make sure you can easily open all windows and front/back doors in your home. Ask a family member or handyman for help with checking windows and doors if you can’t handle this task yourself. One additional tip: Some homes may use special devices on doors to deter those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease from wandering off. However, the website Senior Safety Reviews says this could cause a delay in escaping if there is fire. “Better to explore getting them a GPS system that will track them if they wander or an alarm system that will alert you if they leave a designated perimeter,” the website recommends.
- Get smoke alarms installed in any room where people sleep as well as in nonsleeping areas. The Red Cross has a program, Sound the Alarm, in which its volunteers are helping to install alarms in homes that need them. See the link here for more information.
- If someone in your home is hard of hearing, invest in a fire alarm that emits a vibration or that flashes a light.
- If you or someone else in the home smokes, do it only outside the home to lower your fire risk. Never smoke near an oxygen tank. Wherever smoking takes place, use deep ashtrays so they cannot be easily overturned, potentially causing a fire.
- Have fire extinguishers in your home, and learn how to use them.
Here are links for more information on fire safety and prevention for seniors:
- Older Adults; National Fire Prevention Association
- 10 “Most Recommended” Fire Safety Tips for Seniors; Senior Safety Reviews
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.