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Fire safety, supporting Arizona seniors on National Senior Citizen Day
According to the U.S. Census, nearly 20 percent of Arizonans are age 65 and older, and 25 percent of Arizonans age 65 to 74 report having a disability. As people age, their risk of dying in a home fire doubles as age-related hearing loss and mobility issue can make it more difficult to react to a fire. From cooking in the kitchen to planning a fire escape to setting up a bedroom, understanding potential obstacles to a quick escape in the event of a fire can help older adults be better prepared.
This National Senior Citizen Day, help support Arizona seniors by sharing the following fire safety tips:
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires. Many older adults also experience burn-related injuries during cooking. Prevent fires and burns by being watchful and alert when cooking. Consider using a timer as a reminder.
Senior citizens can also take precaution in their sleeping areas. Keeping important items nearby, such as eyeglasses or a cane, can prepare residents to make a quick escape in the event of a fire. Older homeowners may also consider sleeping on the first floor for an added safety benefit.
Even when taking important safety precautions, accidental fires may happen resulting in the need for a fire escape plan. Almost 40% of adults age 65 and older nationwide report having at least one disability, with the majority having mobility issues. This can impact how seniors prepare an escape plan. It is recommended that residents know two ways out of every room and test windows and doors to ensure they can open quickly and easily. It's also important to clear all clutter that may block your escape route or potentially cause you to trip or fall.
While practicing an escape plan, it can also be the ideal time to also ensure that residents are able to hear and respond to a smoke alarm. Smoke alarm placement and maintenance are key to a safe, prepared home. Smoke alarms should be installed inside and outside of every sleeping area, as well as on every level of the home - even the basement. When choosing a smoke alarm, older adults may consider interconnected smoke alarms. Alarms with interconnect technology add an extra safety benefit, as when one interconnected smoke alarm sounds, all alarms throughout the home sound in unison. This allows for residents, especially those with difficulty hearing, to be alerted to a fire no matter where they are in the home.