In the United States, 16.5 percent of the population is at least 65 years of age. The figure is expected to balloon to 22 percent in a few short decades. As the population ages, it’s essential to pay attention to fire safety — over 1000 Americans over the age of 65 die from fires every year while more than 2000 are injured. In fact, seniors are twice as likely to die in a fire than other people.
While the elderly who live independently in their homes are more vulnerable to fires, those living in long-term care facilities are also susceptible.
Here are three steps that can improve fire safety for the elderly:
Seniors who live in multistoried buildings must have stair chairs at the right places to improve their chances of safely evacuating during a fire. Evacuation chairs from companies like Evacuscape are cost-effective and have multiple features for enhanced safety.
Evacuation chairs are a good investment for any building because they can also help the physically disabled, injured people, pregnant women, and individuals who use mobility tools during an emergency. Aside from fires, evacuation chairs can be a vital tool during power outages, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, gas leaks, viral outbreaks, etc.
In addition, make sure that a senior home has working carbon monoxide and fire detectors. People living with seniors must be trained to use fire safety tools like fire extinguishers and stair chairs.
Whether they live alone or with a support worker, it’s essential to visit a senior regularly to check their living conditions. Remember, fires in senior homes usually start from defective gas-powered cooking equipment, faulty wiring, overloaded sockets, etc.
It’s important to educate everyone living in a senior home about fire safety — people should know what steps to follow and how to support the vulnerable in an emergency.
Although seniors are more vulnerable during a fire, their chances of survival can be greatly improved with the right tools, education, and support.
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