Fire Safety for Elderly

Monday, January 25, 2010

As you age, your risk of death from fire increases significantly. People over age 65 face the greatest risk of dying in a fire. Dr. Edward Hill explains why in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Decreased mobility, sight and hearing may limit a persons ability to take the quick action to escape during a fire emergency. Many older people live alone and have no one to help when accidents happen.

How can you reduce your risk of being injured by fire?

- Unsafe use of smoking materials is the leading cause of fire deaths among older Americans. Dont leave smoking materials unattended. Empty all ashtrays into the toilet or a metal container every night before going to bed. NEVER smoke in bed or near a source of oxygen, gas stove or other flammable objects.

- If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, take a spoon or potholder with you to remind you to return to the kitchen. Never cook with loose, dangling sleeves that can ignite easily.

- When using alternative heaters, use caution. Do not use electric space heaters in the bathroom or around other wet surfaces. Do not dry or store objects on top of your heater.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.