( begin with introduction suited to the audience and occasion) Our population is growing older. Many of older adults are just as healthy and alert as ever. Others are increasingly at risk of fire and burn injury. We hope our program will make you more aware of these hazards and help you reduce them, in the lives of older adults. (Bridge) This program was prepared by professionals who are familiar with the fire and burn risks that face older adults. Who would you expect that to be?
(Bridge) Before we talk about burns to older adults, let’s look at the overall picture of fire and burn injury. How many deaths and injuries occur each year from fires and burns? Burn care professionals and fire service public educators from throughout the United States and Canada put together this program, as members of the American Burn Association Burn Prevention Committee. Their mutual interest in developing and distributing these messages to help prevent burn injury to seniors has been supported by a grant from the U.S. Fire Administration. Firefighters and the emergency service professionals that work with them in the field have a special interest in burn injury.In many regions, firefighters and others have created separate nonprofit organizations, to support burn centers and burn survivors and educate the public about fire and burn prevention. (For a local tie-in, the presenter can acknowledge the activities and service area of the regional burn center(s), the local fire department, and the separate regional burn support organization if there is one.)
Up to 4,000 people a year die from fire and burn injuries. Most die at the scene. Most of those with severe fire and burn injuries who do not die at the scene are transported immediately to one of the 125 hospitals in the U.S. with specialized burn centers. Physicians, nurses, therapists and other members of the burn teams at these centers treat over 25,000 such admissions each year. Burn specialists also care for many of the 600,000 burn injuries treated at hospitals emergency departments each year. Many of these injuries are referred to burn specialists after initial treatment at the hospital where they were first seen.
A dults over 65 have twice the fire death rate of the population as a whole. Adults over 85 have a fire death rate 3.5 times that of the general population. Why are these rates so much higher than for the general population? Older adults may not react as quickly or move as well. They may not see as well. They may have more difficulty with new information. New information may be especially difficult to take in as older adults come to rely more on prescription drugs. Many have side effects that may dull the senses while they’re relieving pain or addressing other health problems. A surprisingly large number of older adults with challenges that place them at risk of injury still live alone in the general population. Others live with spouses, siblings or friends of similar ages, who may or may not face similar challenges. How many of you have older friends or relatives who still live independently? How safe are they from fire and burn injury hazards? Are you prepared to help keep them safe, without being over-protective, as their needs change? (Bridge) Some older adults, and younger people too, have attitudes that may increase their risk of experiencing a fire or burn injury. Have you ever heard any of the following sentiments?
It won’t happen to me!” “ I’ve been smoking all my life. Why should I stop now?” “ My dog would wake me up if there was a fire.” “ We have the best fire station in town. They’d save me .” If we can’t change attitudes, maybe we can at least develop some protection against common fire and burn hazards in their lives. . (Bridge) Let’s begin by looking at their leading causes of fire and burn death and injury to older adults. What are they?
How many of these causes did you think of? Smoking is not the most frequent cause of fire injury, but it causes the most deaths. Cooking and scald injuries are less lethal but far more frequent. Fires and burns resulting from electrical wiring and portable or fixed heating sources are common in the older adult population. (Bridge) Let’s take a closer look at fire and burn injury risks related to smoking .
Carelessly discarded or accidentally dropped cigarettes have long been the most frequent cause of fire death, 800 or more annually in recent years. Since the average age of those who die in such fires is over 55, these deaths are most common in older adults. The caution against smoking in bed, even if it’s observed, may not be enough of a warning against careless disposal of cigarettes. Even while sitting up, older smokers may be at risk of dropping lit cigarettes on their clothing or upholstery and not reacting quickly enough to prevent a fire from starting. The risk increases for older smokers who become drowsy from medications or alcoholic drinks. Visitors, caretakers and neighbors may also be at risk in such fires. (Bridge) What is the fastest growing cause of burn injury related to smoking?
A s home oxygen therapy has grown, so have the number of burn injuries involving portable oxygen equipment. These injuries typically happen when a smoker brings a match or lighter too close to the concentrated oxygen in the mask, cannula or tubing connected to their oxygen tank. The resulting explosion burns the facial area and usually causes even further damage to the lungs. All too often, oxygen-dependent smokers are unable to give up the habit which likely contributed to their illness. If confined to their home, they frequently persuade sympathetic friends and relatives to make smoking materials available, despite the danger involved. When they leave their homes, smokers who depend on portable oxygen tanks should leave smoking materials behind and not bring their risk of oxygen explosions into public places, smoke-free or not. (Bridge) After smoking, what’s the most common source of burns to older adults? .... It’s cooking.
Several types of injury can result from accidents in the kitchen. Grease in a pan or a sleeve contacting a stove burner can catch fire and cause a burn injury. You can spill hot food and suffer a scald injury. You can pick up a hot dish and get a contact burn. Finally, burn injuries of any type can be accompanied by bone fractures if someone slips and falls or drops a container on their foot while carrying hot food or beverages. There are many ways to reduce the risk of such cooking-related injuries to older adults. (Bridge) Let’s begin by looking at precautions to keep your hands and body as safe as possible. What are they?
You’re less likely to suffer any of these types of injury if you take these precautions before starting to cook. -Wear short sleeves or close-fitting clothes to reduce the possibility of clothes catching on fire -Wear a heavy cloth apron to hold clothes close to the body - Place potholders and oven mitts where they’re ready to use the moment you need them (Bridge) Now that you’ve protected yourself ahead of time, what precautions should you take in the cooking area before cooking?
Keep flammables, such as paper and cloth items, well away from the cooking elements and turn all pot handles away from the stove edge. When small children are present: - Create a “kid-free zone for three feet around the zone, and if other adults are present have them help you enforce it. -Cook with rear burners to decrease the risk that a child might reach up and pull on a pot handle. If you are cooking with grease, keep the matching pan lid close at hand in case the grease catches fire. If grease ignites, turn off the burner, slide the pan lid front to back over the fire to smother the flames, and do not lift the lid or move the pan until it cools completely. (Bridge) What about countertop cooking and microwave ovens?
Make sure you leave enough space on your countertops to place pots and dishes when you’re transferring hot food. With the increasing use of electric crockpots and fryers, countertops are increasingly crowded. Store elsewhere any items you rarely use. Appliances like these normally come with extensive safety directions. Since we can’t cover all the safety guidelines for each appliance named in this program it’s very important that you read and observe the safety guidelines in these instruction booklets. We won’t repeat this for every appliance mentioned, but it’s very important. Keep countertop appliances far enough back from the counter edge to avoid the risk that they might be pushed off or pulled off by their cord. Young children or even your own movements could catch on the cord and spill scalding hot food. Keep appliance cords short or coiled, and to the rear of the appliance if possible. Since most countertop cooking appliances are now manufactured with short cords, place appliances where extension cords are not needed. (Bridge) What should you do to keep safe while food is cooking?
The safest cooking practice of all would be to never leave any cooking activity unattended. However, this is not realistic. It is important to “stand by your pan” when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling. When you’re roasting and baking, stay at home and use a timer as a reminder to check on cooking progress periodically. In case of a grease fire, put on the oven mitt you’ve kept handy and pick up the matching pan lid you’ve placed nearby. Slide the lid over the pan, moving it from front to back to protect yourself. Don’t use a fire extinguisher, because burning grease could spatter elsewhere in the kitchen and cause further damage. In case of an oven fire, close the door, turn off the oven and wait until the oven has cooled down before opening the door. (Bridge) What safety guidelines apply to microwave ovens?
Microwave ovens should be located on countertops, not mounted above the stove. Such devices should be located on countertops at an appropriate height for anyone in the household who might use them can reach them safely. Hot foods or beverages which are difficult to reach above the stove could spill while being removed and cause scald injury to the face and hands. Use only microwave-safe dishes and cookware to heat foods and beverages. Always allow food and beverages to cool down for a minute before removing them from a microwave oven. Mix combined or compartmented dish contents before serving. Microwave ovens do not always heat food evenly. (Bridge) What other area of the kitchen deserves attention?
The kitchen floor can become dangerous when food or beverages spill. Choose kitchen floor coverings with the safety of the surface in mind. Use non-slip mats near the stove and sink and wherever else you do most of your food preparation. When you’ve spilled anything while preparing or cooking a meal, be sure to wipe it up immediately. A neglected spill could be a hazard later, when you’re serving food or cleaning up. Finally, when you’re ready to serve cooked food, use oven mitts or heavy duty pot holders to pick up pots or serving dishes, and make sure your path to the kitchen or dining room table is unobstructed. (Bridge) Scald injury can also result from hot tap water, in the kitchen or more likely in the bathroom. How can we reduce this danger?
For the safety of everyone in the household, especially when it includes infants and older adults with thin skin, test the temperature of the undiluted hot water as produced by your heater. Begin by letting the water run until it feels hot. This could sometimes take a minute or two, or more, if the hot water heater is a long distance from your tap. Once the water is running hot, place a cooking thermometer under the running hot water tap for several seconds and record the temperature.. ( Bridge) Is a single test enough?
. One test is not enough, even if it shows that your water temperature is below 120°F/48°C. Hot water temperatures can vary by as much as 20 degrees at the same thermostat setting. This depends on how recently and for how long household members have bathed, washed dishes or laundered clothes. That’s why water heater thermostat dials don’t have numbers, and that’s why it’s important to repeat the temperature test several times. If you have lowered your thermostat setting, don’t be surprised if it takes 24 hours or more for hot water to cool down to a level where it remains safe. That’s because water heaters are insulated, just like Thermos bottles, to keep temperatures at a desired level for many hours. Continue testing, and adjusting your thermostat if necessary, until the water temperature remains no higher than 120°F/48°C. (Bridge) Is 120° the ideal temperature for your tap water?
When it comes to establishing the hot water temperature, keep in mind that 120F°/48C° is a maximum level, not a target. Most dishwashers have internal booster heaters and modern laundry detergents perform effectively at water temperature levels well below that maximum. You may find you can set your thermostat at a level which produces hot water at or only slightly above the most comfortable bathing temperature for infants and the elderly. This is usually around 100°F (38°C). If you’ve lowered the thermostat to reach an acceptable level, you may also notice a lower utility bill ( Bridge) In multi-unit dwellings, you may not have control over your water heater thermostat. If you find that your hot water temperature is unsafe, what else can be done? The next two slides show some direct and indirect steps that can reduce the risk of scald injury.
I n multi-family housing, the average hot water temperature sometimes will vary greatly from one unit to the next. When a building’s hot water system cannot supply consistently safe water to some units, certain devices may help reduce the scald risk. These come in two types: measures designed to control water temperature, as listed on this slide, and those designed to prevent people from falling into hot water. We’ll call them direct and indirect scald prevention measures. As a direct scald prevention measure, a tempering valve mixes heated water with whatever cold water is needed to keep the temperature below a specified maximum level. A plumber can install such a valve at a connection of the hot and cold water lines. This is most easily done somewhere near the heater during initial construction. The alternative direct approach is to install an anti-scald device at the shower head and any faucet which combines hot and cold water. Screwing such a valve on the fixture ordinarily does not require a professional. These devices work by halting the flow of hot water until the temperature of the water flowing through the valve falls below a pre-set maximum level. ( Bridge) What products intended to reduce falls can also help prevent scald injuries?
Other safety equipment, designed mainly to help older adults or people with disabilities avoid falling, can also prevent scald injury. Grab bars on shower walls reduce the risk that someone slipping or fainting might grab a control valve on the way down, turning it to the highest temperature level while falling. After such a fall, someone could be trapped in scalding hot water. Shower chairs and non-slip mats serve the same purpose, by helping prevent falls into water that could be scalding hot. (Bridge) Next we’ll look at electricity. What dangers relate to electricity use by older adults?
Electricity is such an important part of our day-to-day living that it is almost impossible to imagine a world without it. This slide lists some of the danger signs that can develop over time, often without notice, in a household’s electric wiring. Any of them could lead to fires that could cause serious injury and property damage. These danger signs include: Appliance or extension cords that get hot to the touch Loose or cracked appliance or extension cord plugs Warm wall outlets or switch plates Frequent breaks or blown fuses in an electric circuit (Bridge) What action should be taken to address these hazards?
It’s important not to overload individual wall outlets or extension cords with too many appliances. If any wiring problem appears in a cord, an appliance or a circuit, a licensed electrician should be called on to rewire or replace the faulty appliance or household wiring. Such a repair visit would be a good time for an inspection of all household electrical switches, outlets, plugs and cords, especially in older adult households. (Bridge) Electrical hazards are especially dangerous in the room where an older adult who is ill or incapacitated spends most of their time. The room where they sleep may become crowded with medical equipment as well as its normal furniture. What special precautions should be taken with respect to electrical equipment in such a sleeping area?
Older adults or their caretakers should check both heating pads and electric blankets periodically for charred spots on the fabric and cracks in their cords. Either fault could cause a fire in the pad or blanket itself. Such a fire could ignite additional bedding materials and sleepwear and cause a serious injury. Heating pads should be used only for specific areas of discomfort during waking hours, and only for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. They should not be left on all night to provide heat. If the pad does not have an automatic-off device, a timer should be used to avoid a burn injury. Heavy objects should not be placed on either blankets on pads, nor should pets be allowed to rest there. Neither blankets or pads should be placed under the body or sat on. (Bridge) What other precautions should be taken regarding the area around the bedside of an older adult?
Always keep a route clear between the bed and the door in the room where older adults sleep. This will make it easier for them to get out, and for rescuers to get in, in case of fire. An older adult should always have essential items within easy access at the same place next to the bed in case of fire. This might include such items as eyeglasses, a telephone, flashlight, hearing aid and a personal alarm bell. There should be a working smoke alarm in the room, one specially designed for the hearing-impaired if necessary. The sleeping area should be located on the first floor if possible. (Bridge) What safety precautions are important when using candles?
Candles have become increasingly popular for people of all ages. Nowadays, they may be used in several rooms of a home or apartment, for fragrance and decoration more than for light, in any season of the year. They are also a growing fire hazard, responsible for hundreds of deaths in recent years. To prevent such tragedies: , Use only sturdy candleholders, large enough to collect any wax that may drip. K Keep candles away from window coverings and anything else that might catch fire. Don’t use them in areas where children are active. Keep wicks trimmed to ¼ inch in length. Always extinguish candles before leaving a room or going to sleep. Have you ever experienced a fire started by a candle? How could you have prevented it? ( Bridge) In the winter, when utility bills are high, candles may be used for light while portable space heaters are used for heat. How can the hazards of portable heaters be reduced?
Portable heaters should be kept clean and kept at least 3 feet away from combustibles, including papers, upholstered furniture and piles of clothing. Kerosene heaters should not be filled indoors or while they are hot. Indoor spills can gradually saturate the spill area and create a potential for ignition. This can happen if the area comes into a contact with a dropped cigarette, a spark from an electrical appliance or the flame of a heater or furnace pilot light. Kerosene should be stored only in the blue cans designed and labeled specifically for kerosene. (Bridge) The area around a house furnace also deserves attention. What could be especially dangerous in the vicinity of a furnace?
Flammable liquids such as gasoline should be stored outside the residence, not in an enclosed area such as a basement or garage. Storing any combustible objects within 3 feet of a furnace is a dangerous practice. where a home’s furnace and water heater are normally located. Attention to keeping flammables and combustibles away from pilot lights is becoming more important as our garages and basements fill up with personal belongings. Home heating systems should be serviced annually. Keeping them clean will make them last longer and reduce the risk of malfunctions that could result in a fire. (Bridge) What should we know about the dangers of cleaning products ?
Many cleaning products in common household use contain dangerous chemicals. If a product can dissolve dirt, it can dissolve skin. Always protect your hands and arms from chemical burns by using heavy rubber gloves whenever you use strong cleaners. Always store solvents in their original containers, and discard leftover supplies on an annual basis. Don’t mix any cleaning products, especially those containing bleach and ammonia in the same cleaning process. An explosive chemical reaction could occur. Keep cleaning products away from young children, using locked cabinets with high storage shelves if possible. (Bridge) We’ve talked about many ways to avoid fire and burn injury. But we still should be prepared in case a fire breaks out. How can we reduce the potential impact of a fire?
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home, outside each sleeping area, and in bedrooms whose occupants normally sleep with the door closed. Specially modified alarms are available for the hearing-impaired. Since the majority of fires take place in homes lacking working smoke alarms, installing and/or maintaining them in homes which don’t yet have them is an important goal of community fire protection. Carbon monoxide detectors are increasingly recommended as standard safety devices in the home. Experience of their life-saving value is increasing. Most deaths in fires are caused by the inhalation of carbon monoxide and other toxic products of smoke, not burns. Both types of alarms should be tested at the recommended frequency. T he address number of the home should be painted on the curb and displayed prominently on a front step, porch pillar or front door. This could save crucial seconds for firefighters or emergency medical personnel. (Bridge) Once the alarms have sounded, you need a way to escape the fire. What should be included in your home’s fire escape plan?
Escape plans for households with older adult residents need to accommodate any physical challenges they may face which could present special risk. The plan should include ways other household members can help them escape, and how they can notify rescuers if they are trapped. In single-floor residences, those with limited mobility should be assigned sleeping areas closest to the most convenient exit. In multi-floor, multi-unit buildings, an escape plan should include a means for older residents to signal their presence to rescuers outside the building. If possible, such an escape should be practiced once a year or when significant changes occur in an older adult’s physical condition. Areas near exits should be kept clear. (Bridge) Finally, if a fire does break out in your home, what should you do?
In case of fire, above all, stay calm. Test the door to your room or apartment to make sure it’s not hot. If the door is cool, leave your room and stay as low as possible to avoid smoke. If your door is one that automatically locks behind you, take your key in case your escape is blocked. If you live in a building where you normally use an elevator, use the stairs instead to reach safety. If you can leave quickly. do so before calling 9-1-1. If you cannot escape, call 9-1-1 and signal your location to fire rescue workers when they arrive. Have you ever experienced a fire where you had to observe any of these rules? Would you share your experience with us? (Bridge) I hope you’ve learned, or have been helped to remember, many important guidelines to lead a life safe from fires and burn injury. I’d just like to emphasize some key points in each area we’ve discussed.
Here are just a few points, one in each of the areas we’ve discussed. Smoking: Don’t smoke when drowsy Cooking: Wear safest clothing Scalds: Set water heater thermostat to keep temperature from exceeding 120°F/38° Home heating: Keep flammable liquids outside the household Electricity: Repair or replace damaged wires, cords, plugs, appliances Are there any others you would like to emphasize? Any we’ve left out? Any questions? Anything you’d like to share from your own experience? Thank you!
Fire and Burn Safety for Older Adults
Fire and Burn Safety for Seniors Developed by: American Burn Association Burn Prevention Committee Funded by: United States Fire Administration/ Federal Emergency Management Agency
Fire and Burn Death and Injury <ul><li>Deaths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4,000 deaths a year from fire and burns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Injuries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25,000 hospitalized in burn centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>600,000 burn injuries receive treatment </li></ul></ul>(Sources: National Fire Protection Association, National Center for Health Statistics)
Risks to Older Adults for Fire/Burn Injury <ul><li>Physical and Mental Changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Medications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility </li></ul></ul>
Dangerous Attitudes About Fire <ul><li>“ It won’t happen to me!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ve been smoking all my life. Why should I stop now?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My dog would wake me if there was a fire.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We have the best fire station in town. They’d save me.” </li></ul>
Leading Causes of Fire and Burn Death and Injury for Older Adults <ul><li>Smoking </li></ul><ul><li>Cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Scalds </li></ul><ul><li>Electrical Wiring </li></ul><ul><li>Heating </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Sources: National Fire Protection Association; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Centers for Disease Control) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Smoking Hazards <ul><li>- Average age of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cigarette fire death: 55+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Careless discarding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in beds, chairs, trash </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases with alcohol, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prescription drugs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visitors, caretakers, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>neighbors also at risk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t Allow Smoking in Your Home </li></ul>
Smoking and Oxygen Therapy <ul><li>Do not support the smoking habit of those who depend on portable oxygen tanks </li></ul><ul><li>Smokers who depend on oxygen should leave smoking materials at home when out in public </li></ul>
Keep Safe in the Kitchen <ul><li>Keep safe from </li></ul><ul><li>Fires </li></ul><ul><li>Scald injury </li></ul><ul><li>Contact burns </li></ul><ul><li>Falls </li></ul>
Clothing for Cooking: Protect the Hands and Body <ul><li>Wear short sleeves or close-fitting clothes </li></ul><ul><li>Wear apron </li></ul><ul><li>Use heavy duty potholders to move hot pots and dishes </li></ul><ul><li>Use oven mitts </li></ul>
Keep the Stove Top Safe <ul><li>Keep flammables away from cooking elements </li></ul><ul><li>When children are present </li></ul><ul><li>-Create a “kid-free zone” for three feet around stove </li></ul><ul><li>-Cook with rear burners </li></ul>
Keep Countertops Safe <ul><li>Don’t clutter countertops </li></ul><ul><li>Read and observe appliance directions </li></ul><ul><li>Keep crockpots and deep fryers away from counter edge </li></ul><ul><li>Keep appliance cords short or coiled </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using extension cords </li></ul>
“Stand By Your Pan!” <ul><li>Stay in the kitchen to fry, grill, broil or boil </li></ul><ul><li>Stay in the home while baking or roasting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use timer as reminder to check periodically </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In case of a grease fire smother with matching pan lid, not by using a fire extinguisher </li></ul><ul><li>In case of an oven fire, turn off oven, close door and wait until oven has cooled down </li></ul>
Use Microwave Oven Safety <ul><li>Locate microwave ovens on countertop, not mounted above stove </li></ul><ul><li>Use only microwave-safe cookware </li></ul><ul><li>Allow food to cool before opening oven </li></ul><ul><li>Mix foods before serving </li></ul>
Kitchen Floor Safety <ul><li>Choose floor surface with safety in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Use non-slip floor mats near food preparation areas </li></ul><ul><li>Wipe up spills immediately </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure path is clear when carrying or serving food (pets, children, toys, etc.) </li></ul>
How to Measure Hot Water Temperature <ul><li>Run hot water until it feels hot (can take a minute or two) </li></ul><ul><li>Test temperature with cooking thermometer </li></ul>
Establishing a Safe Hot Water Temperature <ul><li>If initial test temperature is above 120°F (48°C), lower heater thermostat setting </li></ul><ul><li>Initial result below 120F ° /48 °C may be at low end of range </li></ul><ul><li>Retest over 1-2 days until water temperature remains at or below 120 °F/48°C </li></ul>
Set Water Heater Thermostat At Safe Level <ul><li>120 °F/48°C is a maximum level, not a target </li></ul><ul><li>110 ºF/43ºC maximum for seniors recommended </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable temperature for senior bathing: 100°F/38°C </li></ul><ul><li>Lower setting = lower cost </li></ul>100°F 38°C
Tap Water Scald Prevention Devices <ul><li>Direct (Scald Prevention) </li></ul><ul><li>Tempering valve </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must be installed by plumber on water line </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anti-scald shower head </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can usually be installed by consumer on shower head or faucet </li></ul></ul>
Tap Water Scald Prevention Devices <ul><li>Indirect (Fall Prevention) </li></ul><ul><li>Grab bars </li></ul><ul><li>Shower chair </li></ul><ul><li>Non-slip floor mats </li></ul>
Electric Wiring Danger Signs <ul><li>Cracked, or frayed appliance or extension cords </li></ul><ul><li>Cords that get hot to the touch </li></ul><ul><li>Loose or broken appliance or cord plugs </li></ul><ul><li>Warm switch plates or outlet covers </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent tripped circuits/blown fuses </li></ul>
Electrical Wiring Safety <ul><li>Never overload outlets or extension cords </li></ul><ul><li>Have electrician inspect and rewire or replace: </li></ul><ul><li>-loose appliance plugs -frayed or cracked cords -warm wall switches -overloaded circuits </li></ul><ul><li>- </li></ul><ul><li>cracked cords </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic home inspection by electrician </li></ul>
Sleeping Area Electrical Safety Rules <ul><li>Check electric blankets and pads periodically for charred spots or cracks in wiring </li></ul><ul><li>Use heating pad only 15-20 minutes at a time </li></ul><ul><li>If heating pad lacks automatic off switch, use timer to limit exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Do not lie, sit on or place heavy objects on pad or blanket </li></ul>
Sleeping Area Safety Provisions <ul><li>Clear route for exit, rescuer entry </li></ul><ul><li>Place next to bed for quick access to personal items (eyeglasses, telephone, flashlight, hearing aid, alarm bell) </li></ul><ul><li>Working smoke alarm in the room </li></ul><ul><li>Sleeping area on first floor if possible </li></ul>
Candle Safety <ul><li>Use heavy, sturdy , heat-resistant candleholders, big enough to collect wax </li></ul><ul><li>Keep candles away from window coverings, other flammables, children </li></ul><ul><li>Keep wick cut to ¼ inch </li></ul><ul><li>Extinguish before leaving a room or going to sleep </li></ul>
Portable Heater Safety <ul><li>Keep portable heaters clean </li></ul><ul><li>Keep 3 feet away from combustibles </li></ul><ul><li>Refuel kerosene heaters outside </li></ul><ul><li>Use only special kerosene fuel cans </li></ul>
Household Heating Safety <ul><li>Keep flammables away from the house heater, outside the residence </li></ul><ul><li>Keep combustibles 3 feet away from heat source </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use aerosol cleaning products nearby </li></ul><ul><li>Service home heating systems annually </li></ul>
Aerosol and Other Cleaning Product Safety <ul><li>Protect hands with heavy rubber gloves </li></ul><ul><li>Store in original containers </li></ul><ul><li>Do not combine cleaning products </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in locked cabinet out of reach of children </li></ul>
Prepare Against Fire and Carbon Monoxide <ul><li>Install, maintain smoke alarms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>on all levels of a residence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>outside each sleeping area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in bedrooms if sleeping with door closed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Install carbon monoxide detector </li></ul><ul><li>Test alarms on schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Display home address outside </li></ul>
Prepare to Respond Promptly in Case of Fire <ul><li>Develop escape plan with provisions for older adult household members </li></ul><ul><li>Practice escape plan </li></ul><ul><li>Keep all exits clear </li></ul>
In Case of Fire <ul><li>STAY CALM </li></ul><ul><li>Stay low under smoke </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use an elevator! </li></ul><ul><li>Call 9-1-1 from outside the home if possible </li></ul><ul><li>If trapped, signal fire rescue workers </li></ul>
Key Guidelines for Older Adult Fire/Burn Safety <ul><li>Smoking: Don’t smoke when drowsy </li></ul><ul><li>Cooking: Wear safest clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Scalds: Set water heater thermostat to keep temperature from exceeding 120 °F/38C° </li></ul><ul><li>Home heating: Keep flammable liquids outside the household </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity: Repair or replace damaged wires, switches, plugs, appliances </li></ul>