Fire Safety is a cru­cial is­sue for se­niors

South Shore Breaker - - Games - CON­TRIB­UTED valleyed­i­tor@her­ald.ca

The risk of a fire is not the same for se­niors as it is for chil­dren and adults. Se­niors who choose to live on their own, as well as their loved ones, should be aware of the risk fac­tors as­so­ci­ated with their choice. Phys­i­cal changes can of­ten re­duce mo­bil­ity while cog­ni­tive changes can be even more haz­ardous due to the fact that the in­di­vid­ual may not re­al­ize that he/she is in danger. The side ef­fects of pre­scribed med­i­ca­tion and al­co­hol con­sump­tion can also add to the risks. Age­ing fam­ily mem­bers should fo­cus on these six pri­or­i­ties to pro­tect them­selves against a fire in their home.

1. In­stall a smoke alarm on each level of the home and near all sleep­ing ar­eas. The alarms should be checked monthly and the bat­ter­ies should be re­placed twice a year.

2. Up­date your es­cape plan with your cur­rent ca­pa­bil­i­ties in mind and make sure there are two ways out of each room.

3. If you’re a smoker, never smoke in bed and make sure to soak the ashes in wa­ter be­fore dis­card­ing them.

4. Never leave cook­ing food unat­tended. Turn off the burner if you have to step away from the stove. Clean the ex­haust fan and the duct above the stove reg­u­larly.

5. Each fall, have the fur­nace and the chim­ney in­spected by a pro­fes­sional. Keep flammable ma­te­ri­als at least three feet away from space heaters.

6. Be­cause can­dles are an in­creas­ing cause of house fires, don’t keep them in your home. Choose Csa-ap­proved elec­tric lights in­stead. Don’t hes­i­tate to ask fam­ily mem­bers to help you put safety mea­sures into place.

123RF

Never leave cook­ing food unat­tended. Turn off the burner if you have to step away from the stove.

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