According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Adults over 65 have a 2.6 times greater risk of dying in a fire than the total population, with those over 85 and over 4.1 times more likely. These are pretty scary statistics worth paying attention to. There are things you can do to help your elderly loved one stay safe.
Install and check smoke detectors
Ensure there are smoke detectors on every level of the property, especially outside of bedrooms. As well as testing them regularly, ensure that your loved one can hear them.
Buy fire extinguishers
While you want your loved one to escape from the property quickly, they may need to use a fire extinguisher if their path is blocked. Ideally there should be one on each floor and they should be checked yearly.
Plan an escape route
It’s good for everyone, not just the elderly to know how they’ll escape from their property if there is a fire. It may be that more than one route is needed depending on the location of the fire. However, your loved one may have limited mobility, sight or hearing so ensure that you work out an easy escape route and practice it with them so that if something did happen they’d automatically know what to do.
Ensure your loved one know the importance of never leaving food unattended, especially if they have a lack of mobility. If they suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, consider purchasing a shut-off device for the stove and oven in case they are left on by accident. Check the weight of the pots and pans. Heavy pans can slip and allow fat to spill onto an open flame.
Keep heaters at a safe distance
Ensure that your loved one keeps their heaters 3 feet away from things that can burn, such as blankets, beds, curtains, sofas. Remind them not to leave heaters on when out or overnight. If they need the heat from them, put the heaters on timers so that they will come on and off when most needed.