Seniors are at an increased risk of having a fire break out in their home. This is due to several factors, including the fact that age-related changes make them prone to forgetfulness. This is exacerbated in adults with dementia. Further, as senses decline as a part of the natural life cycle, seniors may not even realize that a fire has broken out. This is particularly startling. Their decreased physical abilities make them less able to react to a fire. All of these factors contribute to an increased risk of seniors dying in a fire.
If a fire does break out, it is important that seniors know how to respond. Here are some tips that you can use to guide your older parents.
- Plan and Practice A Fire Escape Plan
Ensure that there are two ways out of every room and that your parents would have an idea of how to escape from every floor of their home.
- Check That Windows and Doors Can Be Easily Opened
Check that all windows and doors can be easily unlocked in the event that they will have to use them as part of their escape plan.
- Remind Your Parents To Stay Low to the Ground
It is important that your parents remember to stay low to ground as possible if a fire breaks out; if they can crawl, this is even better. Remind them to use the walls as their guiding point so that they don’t get lost.
- Do Not Go Through a Door if the Knob is Too Hot
Do not proceed through a door if the doorknob is too hot. Test the doorknob with the back of your hand first. If is too hot, ensure that you leave the door closed.
- Close and Seal All Doors If Trapped
If you can’t escape, it is important to close all doors and to seal all the cracks with whatever items you can find, such as clothing. If you can wet these items, this will be particularly beneficial.
- Roll on the Floor If Clothes Catch Fire
If clothes catch on fire, it is important to drop to the ground, cover your face and roll back and forth to extinguish a fire.
How to Prevent a Fire
Prevention is important. Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires for seniors. Remind them to never leave the stove unattended. If they need to do something, they should always turn off the stove. Smoking is also a primary cause of fire deaths in seniors. It is important that they always refrain from smoking in bed.
You can drastically increase the likelihood that your parents will survive a fire by installing a smoke alarm on each level of the home. It is especially important to install one near their bedroom so that they can hear it during the night. Ensure that you test the alarm on a monthly basis and that you change the batteries each year.
The award-winning Canadian Security Professionals offer a range of high-quality alarms. Contact us today for more.