Fire prevention at home is important for all people. Though as we age, fire prevention becomes even more essential, especially if it becomes difficult to move around or out of the home quickly or independently.
In this article, we will discuss three products that every home needs to have both a proper home fire prevention strategy and make sure that in the event of a fire, everyone can safely evacuate the home. The three products to improve fire safety includes:
- Kitchen fire extinguishers
- Smoke detectors designed for older adults
- Surge protector power strips
Kitchen Fire Extinguishers
According to FEMA, the number one cause of home fires is cooking fires. Therefore, it is important to not only have a fire extinguisher in the home but have a designated extinguisher specifically for the kitchen.
Kitchen fire extinguishers are important for two reasons:
- They protect your home from damage
- They protect you from harm
Kitchen fires are common, and older adults may be more susceptible to them. A small bit of oil in the wrong place or a burner left on a little too long can quickly turn into an unthinkable situation. Memory impairments, impaired vision, and even fatigue can impact one’s ability to respond to fire hazards quickly.
Kitchen fire extinguishers are designed to put out small kitchen fires before they become a bigger issue. It is important to have one in the kitchen and to know how to use it.
In order to use a fire extinguisher, remember to PASS:
Using this acronym, one can remember how to use the fire extinguisher when it’s needed. And when in doubt, talk to the local fire department or fire marshal for advice.
Smoke Detectors for Older Adults
Another important tactic to home fire prevention is to implement proper smoke detectors at home.As we age, we may start to have difficulty hearing smoke detectors go off or seeing the flashing light. This is why it is important to have smoke detectors specifically designed for older adults in the home.
These detectors have a louder alarm and a strobe light to help those with impaired vision. They may also have a separate attachment for the bed that will shake the bed in an emergency to better notify those in the home of a fire.
It is important to install smoke detectors on every level of the home and in every room. Make sure that detectors are frequently tested and that batteries are changed at least once a year.
Does a Surge Protector Prevent Fires?
Surge protector power strips can help to prevent fires by absorbing excess electricity. This prevents the sparks that can cause an electrical fire from happening. If there is an electrical surge, the power strip will take the hit instead of the electronics. This can protect one’s TV, computer, phone, and other electronics from being damaged or starting a fire.
It is important to choose a power strip that has the appropriate number of joules to make sure a surge protector never gets overloaded. In the event that too many devices are plugged in, a surge protector can catch on fire. Always make sure there are enough plugs for items that are always plugged in (TV, cable box, speakers, lights, etc.) and some extra spaces for things like a cell phone or tablet charger.
Concerned about fire safety for you or a loved one? Click the link to talk with our Client Care Team who can answer any questions you may.
Home Fire Safety Checklist
Even with all the best-laid plans, fires can still happen. In order to support aging at home, make sure to develop a home fire safety checklist that is reviewed regularly. It is also important to make sure everyone is aware of the plan in case of a fire.
Here are a few questions to ask when developing a home fire safety checklist:
- Do we currently have a home fire prevention strategy?
- Is there a kitchen fire extinguisher?
- Are there smoke detectors on every level of the home and in every bedroom?
- Have the batteries in the smoke detectors been changed at least once a year?
- Is there a proper surge protector power strip for all electronics?
- Is everyone in the family aware of our home fire prevention plan?
- Is there an emergency contact list in case of a fire?
- Has an evacuation plan been made in case of a fire?
Answering these questions can provide a good starting point for developing a home fire safety checklist and preventing a home fire.
Next Steps: Home Fire Prevention
Fire safety is important at any age, but especially as we get older. By taking some simple steps and investing in products we can help to prevent fires in our homes. Keep you and your loved ones safe by being prepared.
And if you are looking for more information on preventing home fires or other home modifications, you can schedule a free home safety checkup with a licensed occupational therapist today. We would be happy to help you find fire safety equipment.