Does Your Aging Loved One Have a Fire Escape Plan????
Do you have a fire escape plan? While 66% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 35% of those have practiced the plan; and about 70% of adults 55+ claim they have an escape plan. A house fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. It is estimated that one-third of fire injuries experienced by adults 65+ occur as the victim is escaping with those aged 65+ comprising 32% of all fire deaths and 11% of fire injuries. Older adults’ ability to detect a fire or escape may be hindered by decreased mobility, vision, resistance to new technologies and hearing disabilities. Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire injuries among older adults – when using the stove one should never leave cooking food unattended or wear loose sleeves that might dangle over a stove.
Here are some fire safety tips for adults 55+. If you live in an apartment building, consider sleeping in a room on the ground floor in order to make emergency escape easier. Make sure that smoke alarms are installed in every bedroom room and outside sleeping areas. Test each alarm monthly and replace the battery at least once a year. Have a telephone installed where you sleep in case of an emergency. Conduct fire drills to make sure you know what to do in the event of a home fire. Make sure you are able to open all doors and windows in your home. Change unsafe smoking habits. Do not store newspapers, rags or other combustible materials near a furnace, hot water heater or space heater.
Here are some U.S. fire statistics:
- Every 19 seconds a fire department responds to a fire.
- Every three hours someone dies in a home fire.
- More than half of all home fire deaths result from incidents reported between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM because people are sleeping and do not hear the alarm.
- December and January are the peak months for reported home fires and home fire deaths because of holiday decorations, alcohol consumption, portable heaters and fireplaces.
To get more information about Fire Prevention Safety, call (800) 344-3555 or visit: www.nfpa.org.