Fireplace safety for seniors is serious business. Do you remember the cozy fires you had at home with your parents when you were a kid? They were careful to teach you about the dangers of fire and to make sure you kids learned what was safe. Now it's time to turn the tables. There are new fire dangers as your parents age, so you'll need to make sure you learn about them and show your parents what is safe.
Nearly 14,000 house fires each year are started by fireplaces. And most of them were preventable. If you also consider that senior citizens are injured or killed at 3 times the rate of others, then fireplace safety is essential for your aging parents.
Have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your parents' fireplace, wood stove, and chimney at least once a year. The tar in the chimney (creosote) can build and set your chimney, roof, and the whole house on fire. They will check that the chimney is clear of any nests from birds, squirrels or other animals. If needed they can install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney. They'll also cut back or recommend that any limbs be cut to keep the top of chimneys clear of tree limbs or debris.
You'll want to follow these tips from the
Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Here’s what to look for in a chimney sweep that knows their stuff:
A basic inspection and sweeping will cost about $150 to $300 and last up to 90 minutes.
Now that the fireplace has been professionally prepped, here's what else you'll need your parents to know about
fire place safety...
Fire Safety Guidelines
Our aging parents do need our help. While not about seniors, I share part of this blog post by Leah Ingram to reveal the dangers of winter fires.
Two nights ago friends of ours lost their home in a fire...
Fire Safety Month
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.
Fireplace Safety to Elder Safety Aging Parents Home Page