Americans over the age of 65 have a fire death rate nearly twice the national average. For those over 75, this jumps to three times the national average. Whether living independently or in a care facility, there are steps seniors can take to remain safe from fire.
• Don’t leave food unattended on the stove. If you must leave the kitchen, take a wooden spoon or potholder as a reminder.
• Wear short or close fitting sleeves and an apron to avoid catching clothes on fire.
• When cooking, keep a pot lid close by. In case of a pan fire, use the lid to smother the fire.
• Clean the stove and toaster regularly to avoid grease and crumb buildup.
• Use potholders, not towels, to handle hot pans and dishes.
• Don’t use the oven to heat your home.
• Keep everything at least one foot from any heat source.
• Unplug electrical appliances and heaters when not using them.
• Never hang clothes near a heater to dry them.
• Don’t leave portable heaters alone or go to sleep while they are on.
• Make sure curtains hang well away from heat sources.
At Bed Time:
• Keep your robe, slippers, eyeglasses and house keys close by the bed.
• Check to be sure that any space heaters are turned off and heat is turned down.
• Close your bedroom door while sleeping.
• Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
• Check smoke alarms monthly. If you need a smoke alarm, call the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue Station 27 at 954 964-0225.
• Plan your escape routes (two from every room, if possible) in case a fire does strike. Locate two
• Exit stairways from your apartment building. Never use elevators in a fire.
• Place a 9•1•1 sticker on your phone so that you will always have the number at your fingertips during an emergency.
• Call 9•1•1 from a safe location for any fire, medical or police emergency.
For more information, contact: www.sheriff.org or call Station 27 at 954-964-0225.
Kenneth Kronheim, District Fire Chief Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood Int’l Airport ARFF / Special Operations Command