Fire safety for seniors, important reminders

Whether it's hot or cold outside, smoke alarms need attention

  • Jul. 31, 2015 3:00 p.m.

The two leading causes of fire deaths and injuries among older adults are smoking materials and the misuse of portable space heaters.

Tips to remember:

Smokers should have a designated area away from upholstered materials, such as the kitchen table.

Never smoke in bed while reading – it is too easy to fall asleep and print materials are highly flammable.

Sleep with the bedroom door closed in order to provide more time to escape if a fire occurs.

Keep space heaters well-ventilated and at least three feet away from flammable materials. Unplug space heaters when not in use.

Extension cords are for temporary use only and should not be used with a space heater or electric blanket.

Never run electrical cords under a carpet or rug.

Smoke alarms can save your life!

Smoke alarms are inexpensive and easy to install. Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every floor of the home and outside every sleeping area.

Have a friend or relative test your smoke alarm while you are asleep to ensure you can hear it.

Once a month, test the battery by pressing the test button.

Once a year, change the battery.

To clean the smoke alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the unit with a soft brush attachment.

Replace smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old.

Fire escape planning saves lives:

Develop and practice a fire escape plan. Be sure to include all hallways and stairs.

If a fire starts, get out and do not go back in.

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