The Lifesaving Fire-Safety Checklist

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agncy, older adults (age 65 and up) are more than twice as likely to die in fires than the  population as a whole.  Individuals aged 85 or older are more than four times likely to die in a fire than the general population.  Older adults also have a higher risk of injury from fires.  Here, experts from FEMA provide lifesaving strategies for keeping your home safe.

Fire Safety Checklist 

Do you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home?

Do you stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food?

Are space heaters placed at least 3 feet or more away from things that can burn?

Are all electrical cords in good condition (not damaged or cracked)?

Do you know two ways out of every room in your home?

Do you know what to do if your smoke alarm sounds?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you are at a greater risk for being injured in a home fire.

Escape Safety Checklist

Planning what to do in case of fire can make the difference between life and death. Here are some precautions to take:

Know and practice two ways out of every room in your home.

Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Clear all clutter that may block your escape route or make you trip or fall.

Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home.  This includes the basement and inside and outside of sleeping areas.

Test each alarm monthly using the test button.

Dust or vacuum smoke alarms annually and/or whenever the battery is changed.

Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years or sooner if it does not respond properly when tested.

People who cannot hear the smoke alarm while they sleep need special smoke alarms.  These alarms flash a bright light or shake their beds to let them know there is a fire.  Install these alarms if you or a family member cannot hear well.

Do not put smoke alarms too close to the kitchen or bathroom.  Steam from the shower or smoke from cooking can set off the alarm.

Interconnected smoke alarms are best because if one sounds, they all sound.

For additional information about protecting yourself and your family, check out FEMA’s free publication Fire Safety Checklist for Older Adults.

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