Adults over the age of 65 are more likely to die in a house fire, so here's what to keep in mind to keep everyone safe
Every year in Ireland, about 36 people will lose their lives to a fire in their homes.
Relentless and fast acting, most of those fires will start between the hours of 11pm and 7am, when people are fast asleep. Faced with the frightening reality of a fire burning through your home, having an escape plan can truly make the difference between life and death, and reacting quickly can make all the difference.
That is why fire is so deadly when it comes to the elderly. 2016 has been a bad year for loss of life to fire in Ireland, but it has been particularly bad for those over the age of 65. Several deaths could have been prevented.
When it comes to older family members, dealing with the effects of old age (decreased mobility, loss of vision or hearing, coping with Alzheimer’s or dementia) makes fire even more dangerous, and we all need to go above and beyond the traditional fire safety guidelines to keep everyone safe this Christmas.
Planning for an emergency and practicing how to react should a fire occur is an important responsibility that those caring for the elderly should ensure to do regularly. Remember, surviving a fire is all about taking a three-pronged approach to your safety. Here are the three things you need to remember to do to stay safe:
Be mindful of getting rid of fire hazards
Our homes are our safe havens, the place where we feel most comfortable. But the truth is very different when it comes to fire, as most fires that claim lives in Ireland take place in homes, and the room of the house where fires start is very often the bedroom.
In the bedroom...
In the kitchen...
In the sitting room...
Install and test smoke alarms
It’s important to remember that most fires start when people are asleep, and smoke will not wake you up. Installing a smoke alarm on every floor of the house will mean you have a warning device that can offer you much needed time to react to a fire.
Make an escape plan – and remember to practice it
When a fire breaks out, it is hard to keep a cool head and panic can take over. That is why it is important to talk over how to react and to practice it with loved ones to keep them safe.