According to Fire Prevention Canada (www.fiprecan.ca ) “The two leading causes of fire deaths and injuries among older adults are smoking materials and the misuse of portable space heaters.” Therefore, the suggestion is to refrain from smoking in bed and use space heaters in a well-ventilated area, a good distance from flammables. Residential fires are mostly preventable and are frequently fatal, with most fatalities occurring in the early morning hours when people are asleep. With education and fire safety practices put in place, seniors and their families can prevent accidents around the home.
Concentration while cooking is important. A fire could break out if a burner is left on the stove unattended so if you become distracted, turn the burner off and remove the pot. As well, do not place objects on the stove top for storage. It is easy to turn on the wrong burner and accidently set fire to something. Refrain from wearing shirts or blouses with long, billowing sleeves while you cook as these sleeves could catch on fire or snag a pot handle. Overturning the steaming contents of a pot may result in a nasty burn.
Make sure all of your electrical cords are in good condition with no visible wires. Extension cords were designed for temporary use only so don’t use them for a long period of time. An extension cord that is used permanently or that is run under a carpet may overheat and cause a fire. Candles are very pretty and can smell nice, but a lot of fires are started by neglected open flames. If you need something for emergency light, keep flashlight handy.
Have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector operating in your home. Know the location of your fire extinguisher and how to use it. Alarms should never be over 10 years old and batteries should be replaced when the time on the clocks change in the spring and fall.
Fire safety is for everyone. Make sure the seniors in your life have a fire escape plan and practice it together.
Fully equipped with smoke detectors, fire alarms and a sprinkler system call the Erin Mills Lodge Retirement Residence 905-823-6700 or visit their website www.erinmillscare.com.