Senior citizens are almost twice as likely to be killed in the event of a fire than their younger counterparts. Making up at least 12% of the population, people aged 65 and older are growing in number and with that their risks of injury and endangerment grows. When it comes to fire safety, we need to take extra precautions to keep elders safe. Keep these tips in mind for when you inevitably reach the age where you are labeled as “senior.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, one of the best things to do to keep seniors safe is for their bedroom to be on the ground floor. It is no secret that the older we get, the more trouble we have moving, especially up and down stairs. So if possible, try to get grandma a room on the first floor. Make sure granny’s room has a smoke alarm in her room and she is able to hear (or see) it in the event that it goes off. If you’re looking for an apartment or retirement home for grandpa, make sure it has an automatic sprinkler system in place. These can help put a fire out before the fire department is even needed.
As we age, our hearing deteriorates. This means that if it is late at night, your grandparent might not hear the alarm warning them of a fire. Crossfire Alarms has designed alarms that not only work to go off in every room of the home, but also are extremely loud. We designed our alarms to be heard by neighbors, so even if grandma can’t hear, someone will be able to hear in time to help her get to safety. In addition, some alarms, like Crossfire, light up in the event of a fire. This ensures that people can always be aware of a fire in time.
Whenever grandpa moves into his new place, even if it is at your home or an elderly home where they have a fire escape plan in place, go over and practice your fire escape plan. Have your grandparent go over the safety precautions in their home, and know the best route to get out and to safety. Help your grandparent or parent out by writing out or drawing what their personal escape plan is, so they know what to do in an emergency.
Make sure any home occupied by an elderly person is easy to navigate. Make sure doors are easy to open completely, and are not regularly blocked by anything that could cause your grandparent to fall, get injured, or make it harder for them to escape. Make sure all windows are easy to open and can be opened quickly if that is the best route for escape.
Our parents and grandparents need some extra help as they age. While they might not like all the extra precautions we take, it can make all the difference to make the effort to keep them safe if a fire occurs.