Fire Safety for Seniors

The Department of Homeland Security recently released the following "Fight Fire With Facts" safety information especially for Senior Adults.

Did You Know?

  • 82% of all fire deaths occur in the home.
  • Americans older than 65 are one of the groups at highest risk for dying in a home fire.
  • People ages 65 to 75 years old are twice as likely as the general population to be killed in a house fire; people ages 76-85 are three times as likely, and people ages 85 and older are four and one-half times as likely to be killed in a house fire.
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces the chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.

Life Saving Tips for Seniors

  1. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them once each year. Consider installing a 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarm, which is sealed and cannot be tampered with or opened.
  2. Be extra cautious in the kitchen. The kitchen is a high danger zone for fires. Remember to not leave food cooking unattended and avoid wearing loose clothing when cooking.
  3. Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  4. Double-check the kitchen to ensure the oven and all small appliances are turned off before going to bed or leaving your home.
  5. Never smoke in bed. Replace mattresses made prior to the 1973 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
  6. Keep flammable materials such as drapes, blankets and clothing at least three feet away from your heater.
  7. Don't overload electrical outlets.
  8. Develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
  9. In case of a fire, crawl or stay low to the ground beneath the smoke. Get out. Stay out.
Contact your local fire department to learn how you can help prevent fires and fire deaths by calling a non-emergency number or the U.S. Fire Administration at 800-238-3358. Or contact the Manhattan Fire Department at 785-587-4504.