Fire Safety and Senior Living


FIRE SAFETY AND SENIORS

Fire safety is a crucial issue for seniors who choose to live in their own home. Those caring for aging loved ones who wish to remain at home need to understand the fire risks and how to deal with them. The physical and mental impairments that tend to accompany aging tend to reduce older adults' reaction times and place them at a higher risk for causing fires, and thus at a higher risk of fire injury.

Here are several tips for addressing senior fire safety.

SMOKE DETECTORS

Smoke detectors provide valuable protection. Detectors double your chance of surviving fire in your home by providing early warning and valuable time for escape. Ensure that your detector is loud enough to be heard by the senior living there.  Install smoke detectors and maintain them. If you cannot install a detector yourself, ask a relative, a friend, or a neighbor. They will help you locate the best spot for the detector and make sure that the detector is installed. There should be a detector on every level of your home or apartment.

Do not disable your detectors by removing batteries or disconnecting wires. Doing so could mean the difference between life and death. Clean the detectors periodically to keep them free from dust and dirt. Test the batteries. Detectors connected to your house wiring should be tested regularly, too. Smoke detector batteries should be changed at least twice a year. Use your birthday or some other major holiday (beginend Daylight Savings Time) as your twice-annual "Battery Replacement Day."

If your landlord or building management is responsible for smoke detectors where you live, call and ask when they last were tested, cleaned or replaced. If the detectors have not been attended to, insist that the party responsible act immediately. If they do not respond, call the Fire Department, your local Agency on Aging, or the Housing Authority.

Smoke detectors are important protection to escape from a fire. You must have a smoke detector. Don't live without one!

Smoking

Whether or not you smoke, friends and relatives who visit your home may. It is important, in either case, to be careful with all smoking materials. Don't leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended.  You must put out all smoking materials before you walk away.

Don't put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs. The ashtray can be tipped easily, spilling hot ashes or burning cigarettes onto the carpet or furniture.

Use large ashtrays with wide lips. While smaller ashtrays may be more attractive, they are not safe. Cigarettes can roll of the edge, and ashes can easily be blown around.

NEVER, EVER smoke in bed. Make it a rule not to allow any smoking materials in bedrooms. Burning sheets blankets and other bedclothes create a fire from which escape is impossible. Toxic fumes from the smoke can kill. If you begin to feel drowsy while watching television or reading, extinguish your cigarette or cigar. Do it before it may be too late.

Kitchen Safety:

If you must leave the kitchen while you are cooking, turn off the burner. If you have something in the oven, check it every 15 minutes or set the timer so that the buzzer will remind you to check the oven. Most kitchen fires occur because food is left unattended on the stove or in the oven. A "brief" departure from the kitchen to attend to other matters can easily turn into an extended time away. As a reminder to you, take a potholder, a cooking spoon, or other kitchen utensil with you when you leave the room. This object will help you remember that you have an unfinished task waiting in the kitchen. Never cook with loose, dangling sleeves. Robes and other loose fitting garments can ignite easily. This is a major cause of serious burns for senior citizens. Don't take chances!

Electric:

Regularly inspect your extension cords for fraying, exposed wires or loose plugs. They are not intended for use as permanent wiring. Unplug them when not in use. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, lamps, etc., do not use a simple extension cord. It is better to get an UL-approved unit that has built-in circuit breaker.

Escape Plan

There are three essential items that should be kept by your bedside: a telephone, whistle, and your eyeglasses. Always wear your security bracelet or necklace if you are currently living in a retirement community. You need your glasses to see how to escape from fire and avoid injury. The whistle serves two purposes: It lets people know where you are so that you can be rescued, and enables you to warn other family members of fire. Your first priority in fire is to get out of the building. Don't stop to call the Fire Department until you are safe outside. If you cannot escape by the door, telephoning allows you to call for help while attempting to escape by your back up route. If you use a wheel chair or walker, check all the exit routes in advance to be sure you can get through the doorways. If not, map out escape routes that are acceptable, and discuss your escape plans with your family, the building manager or neighbors. If you have impairments that might make it more difficult for you to escape from fire, consider talking to your Fire Department and letting them know your special circumstances in advance. Plan your escape route and practice getting out. It may seem foolish to do so, or unnecessary (of course you know how to find a front door), but when there is a fire or smoke, your reasoning and patterns may be affected by the emergency. If you have practiced escape routes, your memory and instinct will help you move in the right direction and in the right way. Check all the windows from which escape is planned. Can you open the window, or is it painted or nailed shut? Make sure your exits allow you to exit! Never use the elevator during a fire! Never leave apartment doors open if you flee a fire. Close the door behind you.

 

Queensview is a welcoming retirement community that provides seniors with care, and peace of mind and your comfort and safety is important to us that is why we believe that good management of fire safety is essential to ensure that fires are unlikely to occur; that if they do occur they are likely to be controlled or contained quickly, effectively and safely. Here at Queensview our staff and residents are trained in fire safety.  Our fire system has sprinklers in all areas of the building, including stairwells, suites and common areas. Heat detectors are in place and we also have fire-monitoring company. Once a month fire drills are held, as your safety becomes our number one priority.

 

VISIT , LIVE IT, LOVE IT to active and home

 

A visit, a lunch are all good ways to experience the community. Even better, try an overnight stay as this will enable your parents to connect with residents and talk with them about their experiences.

Queensview Retirement Community offers independent, enhanced, respite and convalescent care. We provide complimentary consultations, home visits and personalized orientations. We are here for you, please call us at 519 442 5621.

 

               FIRE SAFETY AND SENIORS

Fire safety is a crucial issue for seniors who choose to live in their own home. Those caring for aging loved ones who wish to remain at home need to understand the fire risks and how to deal with them. The physical and mental impairments that tend to accompany aging tend to reduce older adults' reaction times and place them at a higher risk for causing fires, and thus at a higher risk of fire injury.

Here are several tips for addressing senior fire safety.

SMOKE DETECTORS

Smoke detectors provide valuable protection. Detectors double your chance of surviving fire in your home by providing early warning and valuable time for escape. Ensure that your detector is loud enough to be heard by the senior living there.  Install smoke detectors and maintain them. If you cannot install a detector yourself, ask a relative, a friend, or a neighbor. They will help you locate the best spot for the detector and make sure that the detector is installed. There should be a detector on every level of your home or apartment.

Do not disable your detectors by removing batteries or disconnecting wires. Doing so could mean the difference between life and death. Clean the detectors periodically to keep them free from dust and dirt. Test the batteries. Detectors connected to your house wiring should be tested regularly, too. Smoke detector batteries should be changed at least twice a year. Use your birthday or some other major holiday (beginend Daylight Savings Time) as your twice-annual "Battery Replacement Day."

If your landlord or building management is responsible for smoke detectors where you live, call and ask when they last were tested, cleaned or replaced. If the detectors have not been attended to, insist that the party responsible act immediately. If they do not respond, call the Fire Department, your local Agency on Aging, or the Housing Authority.

Smoke detectors are important protection to escape from a fire. You must have a smoke detector. Don't live without one!

Smoking

Whether or not you smoke, friends and relatives who visit your home may. It is important, in either case, to be careful with all smoking materials. Don't leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended.  You must put out all smoking materials before you walk away.

Don't put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs. The ashtray can be tipped easily, spilling hot ashes or burning cigarettes onto the carpet or furniture.

Use large ashtrays with wide lips. While smaller ashtrays may be more attractive, they are not safe. Cigarettes can roll of the edge, and ashes can easily be blown around.

NEVER, EVER smoke in bed. Make it a rule not to allow any smoking materials in bedrooms. Burning sheets blankets and other bedclothes create a fire from which escape is impossible. Toxic fumes from the smoke can kill. If you begin to feel drowsy while watching television or reading, extinguish your cigarette or cigar. Do it before it may be too late.

Kitchen Safety:

If you must leave the kitchen while you are cooking, turn off the burner. If you have something in the oven, check it every 15 minutes or set the timer so that the buzzer will remind you to check the oven. Most kitchen fires occur because food is left unattended on the stove or in the oven. A "brief" departure from the kitchen to attend to other matters can easily turn into an extended time away. As a reminder to you, take a potholder, a cooking spoon, or other kitchen utensil with you when you leave the room. This object will help you remember that you have an unfinished task waiting in the kitchen. Never cook with loose, dangling sleeves. Robes and other loose fitting garments can ignite easily. This is a major cause of serious burns for senior citizens. Don't take chances!

Electric:

Regularly inspect your extension cords for fraying, exposed wires or loose plugs. They are not intended for use as permanent wiring. Unplug them when not in use. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, lamps, etc., do not use a simple extension cord. It is better to get an UL-approved unit that has built-in circuit breaker.

Escape Plan

There are three essential items that should be kept by your bedside: a telephone, whistle, and your eyeglasses. Always wear your security bracelet or necklace if you are currently living in a retirement community. You need your glasses to see how to escape from fire and avoid injury. The whistle serves two purposes: It lets people know where you are so that you can be rescued, and enables you to warn other family members of fire. Your first priority in fire is to get out of the building. Don't stop to call the Fire Department until you are safe outside. If you cannot escape by the door, telephoning allows you to call for help while attempting to escape by your back up route. If you use a wheel chair or walker, check all the exit routes in advance to be sure you can get through the doorways. If not, map out escape routes that are acceptable, and discuss your escape plans with your family, the building manager or neighbors. If you have impairments that might make it more difficult for you to escape from fire, consider talking to your Fire Department and letting them know your special circumstances in advance. Plan your escape route and practice getting out. It may seem foolish to do so, or unnecessary (of course you know how to find a front door), but when there is a fire or smoke, your reasoning and patterns may be affected by the emergency. If you have practiced escape routes, your memory and instinct will help you move in the right direction and in the right way. Check all the windows from which escape is planned. Can you open the window, or is it painted or nailed shut? Make sure your exits allow you to exit! Never use the elevator during a fire! Never leave apartment doors open if you flee a fire. Close the door behind you.

 

Queensview is a welcoming retirement community that provides seniors with care, and peace of mind and your comfort and safety is important to us that is why we believe that good management of fire safety is essential to ensure that fires are unlikely to occur; that if they do occur they are likely to be controlled or contained quickly, effectively and safely. Here at Queensview our staff and residents are trained in fire safety.  Our fire system has sprinklers in all areas of the building, including stairwells, suites and common areas. Heat detectors are in place and we also have fire-monitoring company. Once a month fire drills are held, as your safety becomes our number one priority.

 

VISIT , LIVE IT, LOVE IT to active and home

 

A visit, a lunch are all good ways to experience the community. Even better, try an overnight stay as this will enable your parents to connect with residents and talk with them about their experiences.

Queensview Retirement Community offers independent, enhanced, respite and convalescent care. We provide complimentary consultations, home visits and personalized orientations. We are here for you, please call us at 519 442 5621.

 

              

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