Simple Ways to Reduce Fire Risk in Your Parent's Home
June 27, 2016
Elderly Care in Redwood City CAAccording to the U.S. Fire Administration, older adults are at the highest risk of suffering from a severe injury or dying as a result of a residential fire. In fact, 36 percent of all fire-related deaths occur in the senior population, and adults over the age of 64 were more than 2 and a half times more likely than younger population segments to die in a residential fire. These statistics are sobering, but fortunately there are ways that you can help to protect your aging parent from the danger of a residential fire. Use these tips to help you reduce fire risk in your parent's home:
- Ensure proper smoke detector use. A smoke detector is your parent's first line of defense against injury or death related to a residential fire. These smoke detectors provide an alert that tells your parent to leave the home and call for emergency services, getting them the help that they need as quickly as possible. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of the home, particularly near sleeping areas. Avoid positioning a smoke detector near the kitchen as this can cause frequent false alarms. If your parent is hearing impaired, consider a smoke detector that includes a strobe light feature so that they will still receive an alert even if they cannot hear it reliably.
- Cook with caution. Cooking is a leading cause of residential fires. If your parent still enjoys cooking, make sure that they are able to handle it safely. If they are suffering from cognitive limitations or other challenges that might make cooking a risk, consider disconnecting the oven and stove to prevent accidental fires. An elderly care provider can offer valuable supervision that will help your parent to continue to enjoy the benefits of cooking with less of a fire risk.
- Clean out the lint trap. It is a simple task, but one that many people overlook. Clothes dryers have a lint trap that catches pieces of lint, fluff, and thread when it comes off of clothing being dried. This trap should be cleaned out thoroughly after each load of laundry and the main lines that lead outdoors should be cleaned once or twice a year. If they are not, a spark from the heat of the dryer can ignite this lint, causing a fire that can spread through the walls within a matter of moments. Because the fire remains largely inside the walls it can go unnoticed until the damage is extensive.
- Cookout carefully. Cooking with caution is not just limited to using your oven or stove. Now that the summer months are here you must also consider safety during cookouts. Make sure that the grill that your parent uses is kept at a safe distance from the house and that it is completely extinguished after each use. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby to handle any sudden flares.