A home fire is a terrifying moment for anyone, including seniors. If you are an older individual with limited mobility or impairments, it’s especially important you follow these four fire-planning tips because they could save your life.
Have a Plan
You need to craft a plan before disaster strikes, so you are fully prepared if something happens. For a fire, the most important part of this plan is how to escape. Make sure your escape route is on par with your mobility capabilities. Don’t forget to practice it every once in a while, when there isn’t a fire. Even though it’s your home, if a fire breaks out, it may be hard to remember your escape route. Practice makes it easier to remember in an emergency.
Ensure You Can Hear Your Smoke Alarm
Believe it or not, some people can sleep through a smoke alarm. If you have poor hearing, it is particularly important you check the volume of your smoke alarm. Don’t just make sure you can hear it. Make sure it will wake you. If you are worried you may not hear it and wake in time, there are special alarms that use strobe lights, use different sounds, or even shake your bed.
Stay in the Kitchen When Cooking
When cooking, it’s easy to head into another room to do something else while you wait for your food to cook, but this can be dangerous, especially if you forget you’re cooking. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, leaving the kitchen can be extremely dangerous, so stay in the kitchen while you are performing these tasks. Set a cooking timer, especially if you do leave the room to remind you that you are cooking.
Know Where to Find Everything You Need
Many elderly people rely on different devices, such as canes, wheelchairs, glasses, hearing aids, etc. Make sure these are close to you, especially when you are sleeping. If a fire starts, you don’t want to waste time trying to find these, so keep them in the same spot every night. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a phone by your bed, so you can contact an emergency number if a fire or other disaster occurs.
Everyone needs to ensure they stay safe during a fire, and if you are a senior, it may require a little more preparedness. Following these tips, however, will help you stay safe.