According to the U.S. Fire Safety Administration, senior adults have a 2.5 greater risk of dying in a fire than other members of the population. The combination of reduced mobility and health conditions such as hearing loss can make it more challenging for a senior to detect fires and escape from the building quickly. For this reason, prevention plays a vital role in protecting seniors from house fires, and these simple tips from Annapolis Home Care Assistance can help seniors stay safe.
Install Smoke Detectors in Each Room
Seniors need as much advance warning as possible so that they have time to evacuate their home. Making sure that a smoke detector is installed in each area of the home will ensure that even a small fire sounds an alarm. Then, arrange for someone to check the smoke detectors each month, and install new batteries at least once a year.
Choose Detectors with Flashing Lights
Seniors with hearing loss might not always hear a smoke alarm. This is especially dangerous if a fire occurs at bedtime. For this reason, it is best to choose smoke detectors that use both sound and light to warn seniors that a fire is occurring. Seniors who sleep deeply can also benefit from alarms with a special mat that’s placed beneath their pillow. If smoke is detected, the mat will emit vibrations that can help rouse a senior from deep slumber.
Keep Appliances Maintained
Poorly maintained appliances start many house fires. Grease pooling around stovetop burners or food accumulated in the oven can easily catch fire when the temperatures reach a certain level. Lint built up in dryer vents is another common cause of house fires. Seniors should set up a schedule for regular appliance cleaning and maintenance, and recruit help for any tasks that may not be easy to manage alone.
Be Cautious with Sources of Heat
Candles may create a relaxing ambiance, but they are often responsible for house fires. Seniors with memory loss should avoid using them completely, and others should make sure to blow them out every time they leave a room. Space heaters should also be kept at least three feet away from anything that could burn. If seniors know they will be working with an open flame, such as using a barbecue grill, then it is also best to make sure a fire extinguisher is located nearby.
Take your senior loved one’s safety to the next level with help from Home Care Assistance. We offer part-time hourly care for seniors who need minimal help during the week, while our Annapolis live-in care is ideal for seniors who require around-the-clock safety monitoring. Learn more by calling 443-302-2771 today and speaking with a dedicated Care Manager.