Fire Safety for Seniors is critical as they make up the largest high-risk group for injury and death by fire. Every year in Canada, home fires claim approximately 500 lives. More than one-third of people who die in fires are 60 years of age or older. Changes in an older person's sensory and physical functions can make it difficult for them to detect or escape a fire. Many fire-related deaths and injuries among seniors are preventable.
Some of the leading causes of fire resulting in injuries are:
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. It contains many hazards that can cause burns and unintentional fires. Taking steps to protect yourself from heating and cooking appliances can prevent damaging fires, injuries and loss of life.
Use a temperature-controlled deep fat fryer for frying. If you are using a pot, keep a proper fitting lid nearby. If a grease fire starts, carefully cover the pan with the lid to smother the flames. Never leave frying food or cooking oil unattended on a hot stove. Keep combustible materials such as paper, cardboard and plastics away from the stove. Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose sleeves can catch fire over the hot stove. Do not store things over or behind the stove. People burn themselves reaching over the stove. Avoid cooking when sleepy or drowsy from medication or alcohol. Turn pot handles in to prevent children from pulling them down. Do not use defective electric appliances; have them checked and serviced.
Sadly many fire deaths are caused by carelessness with smoking materials. Dozing off with a lighted cigarette or pipe can cause a serious fire, so take care in the armchair, and make it a rule: Never smoke in bed especially if you are tired or have been drinking alcohol, or you are on medication that may make you drowsy.
If you smoke in bed you may never wake up to see the next day. Innocent members of your family will also be at risk as well as yourself.
Never empty ashtrays into the bin unless you are sure that they are fully extinguished.
Always check the ashtrays around the house especially if several members of your family smoke or you have had visitors who smoke.
Never smoke near flammable liquids around your home.
Never leave matches and lighters around for young children to find as many accidental fires are caused by children playing with these.