McGregor's Response to the COVID-19 Virus
Review these fire prevention tips for senior citizens to help prevent a fire. Be aware of increased risks from the use of oxygen units which must be kept at least 10 feet away from open flames.
Fire Prevention Tips
Many different things can cause fires. Here are some of our top fire prevention tips:
- Do not light candles. While they may smell great, candles are a large fire risk. If items fall onto the open flame of a candle, it can cause a fire. If you really want to light a candle, set a timer that reminds you to blow it out after a while.
- Do not smoke inside. If you smoke cigarettes, you need to be very careful about when and where you smoke, because cigarettes can easily cause fires if dropped. To help mitigate this risk, do not smoke inside your home.
- Be careful about lighting fires in the fireplace. Dangerous build up in your fireplace can cause fires in your home. Make sure that you have your fireplace inspected and cleaned regularly and be careful about when you light fires in your fireplace. If you are going to light a fire, make sure you put up a screen in front of your fireplace and keep flammable items away from where sparks can land.
- Watch what you are cooking. When cooking, be vigilant about potential fires. Keep flammable items (like paper towels) away from your stovetop and make sure you pull things out of the oven before they burn. Make sure that you only put microwave-safe items in the microwave.
- Keep oxygen tanks away from fire and heat sources. Oxygen tanks are incredibly flammable so keep your oxygen tank at least 10 feet away from an open flame and six feet away from heat sources and electrical devices and cords.
- Do not overload outlets or use extension cords. Extension cords pose a fire (and tripping) threat so avoid use. Also, make sure that you aren’t plugging too many things into an outlet.
Planning in the Event of a Fire
In the case that a fire does happen, you need to make sure that you have things in order. Here are a few things you should do in case there is a fire:
- Make sure you have smoke detectors and check them frequently. Smoke detectors are incredibly important so you’ll want to make sure you have at least one in each bedroom and on each level of your home. If you are not able to check your smoke detector for yourself, ask a family member or neighbor for assistance. Make sure that you change the batteries at least once a year.
- Seek out multiple escape routes from each room. Take a look around your home to determine how you will flee your home in the event of a fire. Have a plan and practice it so that if the time ever comes, you are ready. It is best to have more than one way to exit each room.
- Keep your home clean and free of tripping hazards. Make sure you keep your pathways clear of anything that could trip you. If you are in the situation where you are evacuating because of a fire, you probably aren’t going to be watching your step carefully – you are going to be leaving as quickly as you can. So, keep your pathways clear.
- Talk with neighbors to determine a safety plan. Talk to your neighbors ahead of time. Let them know that you are planning a fire evacuation plan and ask them if you could use their phone and use their home as a refuge while the fire is being put out and calls are being made in the event of a fire.
- Keep fire extinguishers handy. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and in other locations where a fire may easily happen.
Find out More
House fires are incredibly dangerous. To help aid in preventing fires, use our tips above. If you have other concerns, contact your local fire department and they may be able to talk to you or send someone out to help inspect your home for fire hazards.
For more senior care tips, see our Health Library.
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