The two leading causes of fire deaths and injuries among older adults are smoking materials and the misuse of portable space heaters.
Tips to Remember
- Smokers should have a designated area away from upholstered materials, such as the kitchen table.
- Never smoke in bed while reading – it is too easy to fall asleep and print materials are highly flammable.
- Sleep with the bedroom door closed in order to provide more time to escape if a fire occurs.
- Keep space heaters well-ventilated and at least three feet away from flammable materials. Unplug space heaters when not in use.
- Extension cords are for temporary use only and should not be used with a space heater or electric blanket.
- Never run electrical cords under a carpet or rug.
Smoke Alarms can save your life!
Smoke alarms are inexpensive and easy to install. For assistance with the location and installation of smoke alarms, contact us.
- Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every floor of the home and outside every sleeping area.
- Have a friend or relative test your smoke alarm while you are asleep to ensure you can hear it.
- Once a month, test the battery by pushing the test button and drift smoke from a snuffed-out candle into the alarm.
- Once a year, change the battery.
- To clean the smoke alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the unit with a soft brush attachment.
- Replace smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old.
Fire Escape Planning saves lives:
- Develop and practice a fire escape plan. Be sure to include all hallways and stairs.
- Know: (1) two ways out of every room (2) how to escape from all levels of your home.
- Ensure all doors and windows can be unlocked or opened.
In case of fire – GET OUT AND STAY OUT – never go back into a burning building.
- Crawl low near the floor to the nearest exit maintaining contact with the wall.
- Test the door by feeling it with the back of your hand. If it is hot, do not open. Use an alternative route.
- If the door and knob are cool, stay low with your shoulder against the door while opening slowly. Be ready to close the door if smoke and heat rush in.
- If trapped, put as many closed doors as possible between you and the fire, and seal all cracks in doors and windows with towels or bedding.
- If your clothing catches fire, stop where you are, drop gently to the ground and cover your face with your hands while rolling back-and-forth to put out the flames.
- Cool minor burns with cold water.