Fire Safety Month could mean life or death for our aging parents. We readily teach children about fire safety. In reality, older adults suffer twice as many fire deaths as the general population. Learn why and how to help.
The basic problem is this. Fire and the dangers of fire (smoke, toxic fumes) move quickly. The elderly tend to move more slowly over time. Hearing smoke alarms may be more difficult, the sense of smell is not as keen. Physically, they may take more time to get up, walk out and get away.
Most elderly people were in their bedroom at the time of death or injury during a fire.
It's not a pleasant thought, but think about your own parents or grandparents. What ailments do they have? Are they taking medications that make them drowsy or sometimes cloud their judgement? Do they have trouble with stairs and sleep in a second floor bedroom? Does a walker or cane slow them down? Exactly how much can they hear without their hearing aid being in?
The United States Fire Administration is a division of Homeland Security has compiled extensive data in
Fire and the Older Adult. On average, 1,000 elders die in home fires each year, and another 1,250 are seriously injured. There is much learning and teaching to be done to insure our elders safety during a fire, or better yet, preventing the fire in the first place.
Our aging parents need our help in talking about every part of Elder Safety.
Fire Safety Month to Aging Parents Home Page