Oct 11, 2018 by Katie Fielmann
Each year in the United States, thousands of people are killed, tens of thousands injured, and billions of dollars in property damage are suffered because of fires. As we age, the dangers of fire in the home become more prevalent. The good news is that we can reduce the risk of household fires through several simple safety measures. Should your senior loved one need help along the way, a Comfort Keepers home care aide will be happy to help.
The US Fire Association suggests a 3-part plan to fire safety and risk reduction: protect, prepare, and plan.
Many home fires are caused by space heaters that are covered or are too close to flammable materials. Heaters should not be covered by blankets or clothing and should be at least 3 feet from curtains, furniture, and other flammables.
Electrical cords should not be run under carpets and electronics should be plugged into appropriate power strips. Power strips should not be linked together.
A plan of escape should be created that takes into consideration the different rooms a senior may find themselves in as well as any limitations a senior may have due to mobility challenges, disabilities, or cognitive loss.
Smoke detectors and ABC-rated fire extinguishers should be placed in living areas and kept operational. These devices should be checked and/or tested each quarter with smoke detector batteries being changed at least twice a year.
The stove or oven should not be left unattended. Many home fires are the result of pots left simmering or meals left cooking in the oven and then forgotten. Setting a timer or alarm when using the stove or oven is a helpful reminder to check to ensure everything is turned off.
Get necessary help. Seniors who need assistance cooking, cleaning, organizing, or with other daily living activities or personal care can receive essential support from a Comfort Keepers home care aide. Help can include scheduling device checks, meal preparation support, or even conducting a comprehensive home safety inspection.
Fires are extremely dangerous, especially for seniors. There are things that can be done to lessen the risk, however. For more information about fire safety or to learn more about the many ways a Comfort Keepers home care aide can help your senior loved one maximize their freedom, independence, safety, and quality of life, contact a care coordinator today.
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