• Seniors were at the greatest risk for cooking injuries; 36% of all fire injuries to seniors were from cooking fires. Electrical fires were the second leading cause of injury to seniors at 16%.
• Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose sleeves easily catch fire.
• Stand by your pan! Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while you are cooking, take a potholder or cooking spoon with you as a reminder.
• Put a lid on stovetop fires to put them out.
Older Adults at Greatest Risk for Fire Death
Older adults, those age 65 and above, accounted for 14% of the population, but 33% of the fire deaths in 2012. They were nearly three times more likely to die in a fire.
Electrical Fires Leading Cause of Fire Deaths to Older Adults
Electrical fires caused 27% of the fire deaths and 14% of the fire injuries to older adults that took
place in homes. Here are some electrical fire safety tips.
• It is important not to overload outlets and power strips.
• Use one appliance per outlet especially if it is a heat generating appliance.
• Don't run electrical cords under rugs or let them get pinched by furniture.
• Extension cords should only be used temporarily; they are not designed for long-term or permanent use.
• Remember that space heaters need at least three feet of space from anything that can burn.
• Have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system every 10 years. Small modifications can be made to keep the system current with your home's electrical needs.
Of the 11 senior fire deaths in 2012, 36% were in homes that either had no smoke alarms or had alarms that did not operate.
• Install smoke alarms on every level and outside each sleeping area. If you cannot install one yourself, call a friend or your local fire department.
• Replace the batteries twice a year and test each one once a month. Smoke alarms themselves need to be replaced every ten years.
• Alarms cannot guarantee escape; they can only provide early warning. It is important to make and practice a home escape plan.
• Keep these three essential items by your bedside: your eyeglasses, a telephone, and a whistle. Eyeglasses will help you see and avoid injury as you escape a fire. The whistle will alert other household members to the fire and rescuers to your location. The telephone will allow you to phone for help if you cannot escape through a door.
From the Office of the State Fire Marshal • www.mass.gov/dfs • (978) 567-3380
For additional safety information from the official website of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security please click on logo:
For more information to protect Seniors