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One of the populations most affected by the adjustments the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about this year has been older adults—especially those with certain health conditions. Because they are more likely to become seriously ill if they are infected with the coronavirus, they have had to keep their distance from their close friends and family members for months, and many are living alone with little to no contact from others. This is troubling for many reasons, but one reason you may not consider is their greater risk of endangerment in a fire. You can provide fire safety for older adults with FireAvert for microwaves.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that “At age 65, people are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the population at large.” And being isolated for months from others who would normally come to visit and assist them with fire safety-related matters means they could be at greater risk than ever for a home fire-related accident. This holiday season as you think about what you can do for your elderly loved ones, it may be a great opportunity to share the following fire safety tips from the NFPA with them and assist them if you can safely.

Safety Tips
  • Keep it low 
    If you don’t live in an apartment building, consider sleeping in a room on the ground floor in order to make an emergency escape easier. Make sure that smoke alarms are installed in every sleeping room and outside any sleeping areas. Have a telephone installed where you sleep in case of emergency. When looking for an apartment or high-rise home, look for one with an automatic sprinkler system. Sprinklers can extinguish a home fire in less time than it takes for the fire department to arrive.

  • Sound the alarm
    The majority of fatal fires occur when people are sleeping, and because smoke can put you into a deeper sleep rather than waking you, it´s important to have a mechanical early warning of a fire to ensure that you wake up. If anyone in your household is deaf or if your own hearing is diminished, consider installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing light or vibration to alert you to a fire emergency.

  • Do the drill
    Conduct your own, or participate in, regular fire drills to make sure you know what to do in the event of a home fire. If you or someone you live with cannot escape alone, designate a member of the household to assist and decide on backups in case the designee isn’t home. Fire drills are also a good opportunity to make sure that everyone is able to hear and respond to smoke alarms.

  • Open up
    Make sure that you are able to open all doors and windows in your home. Locks and pins should open easily from inside. (Some apartment and high-rise buildings have windows designed not to open.) If you have security bars on doors or windows, they should have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened easily. These devices won’t compromise your safety, but they will enable you to open the window from inside in the event of a fire. Check to be sure that windows haven’t been sealed shut with paint or nailed shut; if they have, arrange for someone to break the seals all-around your home or remove the nails.

  • Stay connected
    Keep a telephone nearby, along with emergency phone numbers so that you can communicate with emergency personnel if you’re trapped in your room by fire or smoke.

FireAvert for Older Adults

Finally, another great tip is to provide fire safety for older adults with FireAvert for Microwaves. So many of our customers have turned to us to protect their elderly loved ones from causing a cooking fire and they are so thankful for the peace of mind FireAvert provides them. Cutting the power to a smoking kitchen appliance, like a microwave, when the smoke alarm sounds, FireAvert stops cooking fires before they begin. During this strange time where we cannot be around our older loved ones as much as we have in the past, FireAvert can be there to protect them when you can’t. We’d love to speak with you about any questions you may have as you consider this option for your loved one.

We hope these tips are helpful for you and your families as you navigate caring for older adults in your lives! We wish you all the best for a safe and happy holiday season.