Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fire Safety for Seniors

Cooking was the Leading Cause of Fire Injury to Seniors
   • 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.

More than a third of seniors that died in 2012 fires had no working smoke alarms!
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 • • (978) 567-3380 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