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Seniors and Fire Safety: Facts and Resources to Know

The first week of October is designated as National Fire Prevention Week. This year the week of awareness activities begins on October 4. For those who care for older adults, the statistics surrounding aging and fire safety are frightening. Seniors have two times greater risk of being harmed or fatally injured in a fire.Those over the age of 85 see their risk climb to 4.6 times higher than the average population. While adults over the age of 65 make up only 13% of the U.S. population, they make up 35% of all fire deaths. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, residents over age 65 account for 40% of the fire deaths each year.

To help greater Boston caregivers and seniors understand what they can do to decrease their risk of being harmed in a fire, we thought we would use this week to share some of the resources that are available.

Senior Safety Resources

  • The National Fire Protection Association’s Remembering When campaign combines fire and fall prevention into one guide. It is free to download from their website. The campaign focuses on 16 things to do that are important for keeping seniors safe. They also have a home safety checklist you can download to use to evaluate your home or that of a senior loved one.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has a variety of helpful resources. Their YouTube channel has good quality videos focused on fire safety for older adults. They also have other helpful articles, tools, and checklists you can download.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a guide you can order or download. Fire Safety Senior Tool Kit is good resource for community educators trying to help spread the word about older adults and fire prevention.
  • Home Fire Safety for Older Adults Safety Awareness Program Toolkit is published by the Electrical Safety Foundation. They also have developed a series of videos to coordinate with this outreach program.
  • Another good site to visit is the Senior Safe page at Mass.gov. They have targeted articles on senior fire safety issues ranging from safe cooking to space heaters.

You can read more about Fire Prevention Week in Massachusetts and how you can help raise awareness by visiting the Public Safety Department online.

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