Everyone knows there are hazards associated with growing older, like osteoporosis and vision loss, but home fires are an even bigger danger. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, seniors ages 80-84 have the highest fire death rate in the country, and those over age 85 have the highest fire injury rate.
Follow these fire safety tips specially geared towards seniors and reduce your risk of fire:
- Keep extra copies of assistive items like canes and glasses near the bed. If there’s a fire, precious seconds wasted looking for a cane can be the difference between life and death. Wheelchairs should be parked within arm’s reach.
- Don’t cook if you’re sleepy or drowsy from medication. You might think you’ll only close your eyes for a minute, but a minute is all it takes for something to catch fire and spread. If you’re tired, a sandwich or a bowl of cereal are quick, filling, no cook options. When you do cook, use a timer to remind you to check the oven or cooktop.
- Never, ever smoke around oxygen tanks. Fires require oxygen to burn, so even candles can be dangerous. Having a lit cigarette inches from a tank is a dangerous fire waiting to happen.
- If you live in a house, move the bedroom to the ground floor. Not only will your knees thank you every night, but escaping a fire is as easy as walking out a door or climbing out a window, at worst. Neighbors can easily help, so there’s no need to wait for rescue personnel, reducing the chance of injury or death.
- Use a special fire alarm that uses flashing lights along with the alarm if you or someone else is hard of hearing. A fire is no time to be vain and deny hearing problems. Never assume that you’ll smell the smoke or that the alarm will “probably” wake you up. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If your home or business suffers smoke, water, or fire damage, call ServiceMaster NCR in the Alexandria or Washington, DC areas as soon as the fire department leaves. They’ll immediately start working to limit the damage so you can start to get your life back together. They have advanced training in fire, smoke, and water damage restoration to bring back your damaged home, possessions, and furniture. They can restore marble, aluminum, brass, carpeting, upholstery and many more household surfaces.
The cost of fire restoration depends on the extent of the damage and the size of the property. The national average cost in 2015 was $4,120.00.