Safety Tips - Older Ohioans
Fire is a Major Destroyer of Property - and Lives
- There is a fire in someone’s home in Ohio every 30 minutes. Each year about 130 people die in residential fires and more than $150 million is destroyed by fire.
- Older adults are often at the greatest risk. One third of the adult fire fatalities in Ohio are age 60 and over.
- Burn injuries are very painful and require long recovery times.
There Are Five Leading Causes of Fire Deaths at Home
- Careless Smoking
- Heating sources, like furnaces, wood stoves and space heaters
A Smoke Detector Can Make the Difference Because...
- 50 percent of all fire deaths take place in residences not equipped with working smoke detectors.
- Smoke detectors can provide early warning of fires, allowing time for individuals to escape and firefighters to arrive before the fire grows.
Buying Your Smoke Detector
- Smoke detectors are inexpensive - $5 to $20, and can be purchased at most hardware and department stores. Chose one that it is “UL” approved.
- Smoke detectors make thoughtful gifts for friends and relatives.
Installing Your Smoke Detector
- Smoke detectors should be installed on each level of your home and in sleeping areas.
- They are easy to install. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Installation is usually easy, however, if you need assistance, ask a neighbor, relative, or the local fire department.
Taking Care of Your Smoke Detector
- Smoke detectors should be tested once a month. Most have a test button to press. If you have difficulty in reaching it, try a broom handle.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year. When you change your clock, change your battery.
Fire Safety Tips
- Fire prevention is still the best method of fire safety, and since some older adults have problems moving quickly - and suffer more when injuries and smoke inhalation occur - it is essential to prevent fires from happening at all.
- Plan two escape routes from your home or apartment and practice this plan on a regular basis. Have a meeting point outside so family and friends will know where you will be.
- If the smoke alarm goes off get outside; check for other family members; then go to a neighbor’s house and call 911. Don’t ever go back into a house that is on fire
- Never smoke in bed or in your favorite, comfortable chair when you feel drowsy or you are tired. Careless smoking is the number one cause of fire deaths.
- When emptying ashtrays, make sure that all smoking materials are completely extinguished.
- Loose fitting clothing is dangerous when cooking over a stove. Never leave your cooking unattended. Set a timer or wear a wristband to remind you to check on your cooking or to turn all of the burners off when done.
- Using towels as potholders is dangerous. They ignite easily if placed too near a burner.
- A circuit breaker or fuse that constantly trips or blows may be a sign of a possible electrical problem. Call an electrician or other qualified person to check the wiring.
- Keep anything that might burn at least 3 feet away from any type of space heater - including electric heaters.
- Check all appliance cords for fraying and exposed wires. If you need an extension cord, use one with a built-in circuit breaker.
- Sleep with your bedroom door closed. This helps keep any smoke and flames from reaching you.
- Keep your eyeglasses, a flashlight, and a whistle near your bed. Your glasses and a flashlight can help you escape. If trapped, blowing the whistle can alert firefighters to your location.
- In a fire, smoke and heat usually rise; so bend low, or crawl, if necessary, and get out quickly. Never go back into a burning structure. It can kill you! Remember- Get Out and Stay Out.
- If your clothes catch on fire, cover your face, drop to the floor and roll until the flames have gone out. Or drape a large blanket or towel around your body to extinguish the flames.
- Candle fires are increasing. Do not leave burning candles unattended. Use a firesafe holder.
Always remember – if an emergency should occur dial 9-1-1 as soon as you have safely removed yourself from the situation.
Information provided by the Division of State Fire Marshal, 8895 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.