Older people are more likely to get injured or to die from a fire outbreak as compared to other people. This is due to decreased vision, minimal mobility, and hearing loss. All these can reduce the speed to respond to a fire outbreak hence become vulnerable.
Tips for implementing fire safety for the elderly. Prevention of fire outbreaks will reduce the chances of dying or getting injuries.
Smoking is the leading cause of fire among the elderly. They should be encouraged not to smoke while in bed because one can easily drop the cigar on the floor because of sleep. This will cause a fire. So, to avoid such an accident, let them smoke in a different room and ensure that they have put off the remaining cigar using water or sand.
Install Smoke Alarms
More people die in home fires because the house lacks operational smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are meant to warn people so that they can have enough time to escape. The smoke alarm warns the family before they can even see or smell the fire.
Ensure that the smoke alarms are working and interconnected. If one alarm goes on, all the smoke alarms sound in the house. It will make sure that everyone in the house will hear the alarm even if they are asleep.
Test the smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working. Change the batteries and dust them every year to make sure that they are in good condition. If you push the test button and the alarm does not sound, replace the entire smoke alarm system immediately.
If there is a deaf or someone with reduced hearing ability, have a smoke alarm that sounds and still produces flashing light. Also, you can have a fire alarm that shakes the bed to make sure that everyone in the house gets the warning.
Kitchen Fire Safety Measures
Cooking fires are one of the leading causes of home fires. Many seniors experience burn injuries when cooking or when accessing the kitchen. The caregivers and family members need to be alert and careful when cooking.
The person who is cooking, frying, boiling, or grilling food should not leave the kitchen until they finish cooking. If it is a must you leave the kitchen shortly, turn off the fire.
Use a time when roasting, baking, or simmering food and avoid engaging in other activities like playing video games or watch a movie when cooking. You are likely to forget and a fire outbreak can occur.
When cooking, turn the pot handles backward to prevent knocking off the pot when using the kitchen. Someone can easily knock off the pot and suffer from a burn injury. Keep kitchen cloths and anything that can catch fire away from the stove.
Always remember to avoid cooking when you have consumed alcohol or feeling sleeping, or if you have taken medicine that is making you feel dizzy. Avoid wearing baggy and long clothes in the kitchen because they can easily catch a flame.
Once you finish cooking, ensure you have turned off the stove.
Hire a licensed electrician to check the electrical system and replaced any burnt fuses and damaged circuit breakers. You can minimize the use of extension cords by adding more outlets in areas that you need. The family members should learn not to overload the electrical circuits to avoid electricity failures that can cause a fire.
Check the Heating System
During cold seasons, we heat our houses to make it warm. Heating systems can also cause fire outbreaks if not used well. If you are using fireplaces, it important to keep off anything that can catch fire. Have a heater that can automatically go off if it overheats. It will help prevent a fire outbreak that is caused by overheating of the heating systems.
Work with a professional to install the heating system and have a regular inspection to check if it is still in good condition. The inspection can be done annually. Precautions are better than managing a fire outbreak.
Always inform your family about the escape plane in case of a fire emergency. After putting all measures in place, it important to have an escape plan to minimize injuries.