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.

Kitchen Caution:

• 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.

Heating Hazards:

• 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.

Be Prepared:

• 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.

Calling 9•1•1:

• 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: 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

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  1. Great ideas. I never thought about closing the bedroom door before.

  2. Very helpful article.

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