Older adults may be more concerned about increasing safety around new or worsening health conditions, but they should not forget about other more common threats, such as fire or carbon monoxide.
Most older adults recognize the inherent threat that fire poses and have always had fire detectors on hand. When circumstances change, however, there could be a need to revisit fireproofing the home.
In the case of the stay-at-home senior, he or she may want to test a device more regularly or pair their current sensors with a new security monitoring system. Medical alert systems also offer older adults the option to program the local fire department into their local contacts.
Regardless of how a senior wants to re-fireproof their home, he or she should be aware of just how vulnerable they might now be when it comes to fire, smoke and carbon monoxide.
Despite the various lessons on fire safety that one encounters in grade school, few older adults have revisited the idea of having an escape plan in the event their fire or smoke detector alerts them to an emergency. Nearly 37 percent of home-based fire deaths are actually caused by faulty alarms and equipment. In order to avoid such outcomes, it is recommended that seniors revisit the basics for fireproofing their homes.
This might include performing stop-drop-roll drills, ensuring they can open all windows and doors to escape in a timely manner, and ensuring they have ready access to a phone. This is where having a medical alert system that is paired with fire or carbon monoxide detectors could pay huge dividends.
Even though fire safety might seem like a no-brainer, there might be new factors to consider when re-fireproofing the home of a senior. Latches for doors and windows may be more ‘sticky’ than before, so devising a new escape plan could be critical. Seniors with medical alert devices and systems may want to inquire as to whether they can add fire, smoke, security and carbon monoxide detectors onto their current plan so as to maximize all-around safety in the home.