Statistics concerning senior citizens and fire show that people over the age of 65 have a home-fire death rate nearly twice the national average, and the risk nearly triples for seniors over 75, according to the US Fire Administration.
The National Fire Data Center of the US Fire Administration reports that older adults account for 32 percent of fire deaths, and 12 percent of estimated fire injuries.
Those with limited physical and cognitive abilities, such as older adults, are at a higher risk of death from fire than other groups, according to SeniorJournal.com/.
Researchers estimate that by 2030, there will be more than 70 million senior Americans, making these statistics even more significant.
“Taking home fire safety precautions can help keep seniors safe and can also mean the difference between life and death,” said Anndee Soderberg of ADT Security Services.
ADT offers the following safety tips for senior citizens:
The American Burn Association recommends keeping eyeglasses, hearing aids and a flashlight close to the bed. Looking around for these items during a fire can cost valuable, life-saving time.
Never smoke in bed or while lying on the couch. The National Fire Protection Association states that smoldering cigarettes are the leading cause of deaths in the US.
Never leave food unattended on the stove. When leaving the kitchen, take a wooden spoon or potholder as a reminder to return and turn off the oven and/or burners.
Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to sleep. Space heaters can be a serious senior fire safety risk.
Be extremely cautious when using both space and kerosene heaters and always keep at least three feet between portable heaters and anything that can burn, including clothing, drapery, blankets, furniture papers and even pets.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and consider monitoring detection services.
The US Fire Administration states that every year, over 1,200 senior citizens die in fires.
Many of these fire deaths may have been prevented with monitored smoke detection services connected to a monitoring center that operates 24 hours, seven days a week, and can alert seniors, their caregivers and first responders to a home fire.
Consider technology such as bedside fire alarm clocks and bed shakers. These are designed to awaken heavy sleepers and seniors with hearing loss.
More information on seniors and fire safety is available online at