Fire Safety for Senior Citizens
A Message from N.F.P.A.
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE ... Know exactly what you should do and where you should go in case of a fire in your home.
Get Out and Stay Out ... Exit your home as quickly as you can ... go to a neighbor's house and call the Fire Department. Don't even think about going back inside your house to save anything!
In An Apartment ... Be able to unlock a deadbolt lock quickly and easily. Know how to get to the enclosed exit stairway ... and never take an elevator ... it could take you to the fire floor.
Know Two Ways Out ... Know at least two ways out of every room in your house or apartment in case smoke or flames block your primary exit. Include all hallways and stairs in your escape plan.
If You Are Trapped ... Put closed doors between you and the smoke/fire. Stuff the cracks and cover vents with clothing, blankets, etc. to help keep the smoke out of the room you are in. Put a wet cloth over your nose and wait at the window for help to arrive ... signal with a light colored pillow case or sheet, or with a flashlight if one is available. If there is a telephone in the room, call the Fire Department and tell them where you are.
In A One or Two Story House ... Make sure you can open the windows easily. Is your bedroom situated for easy access to a second way out? Can you plan your route across a balcony, porch or garage roof? Or do you need special provisions where you live? If so, be sure they are taken care of soon. For example, those who have difficulty going up or down stairs might be better off in first floor bedrooms.
IN CASE OF FIRE ... Know how to take care of yourself in an emergency. You could save yourself as well as others!
Test The Door ... If the door is hot, use your second exit. If it is not hot, brace your shoulder against the door and open it carefully, being ready to close it if heat or smoke rushes in.
Smother A Grease Fire ... If a cooking pan catches fire, cover it with the lid immediately and turn off the burner. Do not run water into the pan ... that will only cause the fire to spread. Be careful! Trying to smother a fire any other way can be dangerous.
Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll ... If your clothing catches fire, Stop right where you are, Drop gently to the floor or ground, Cover your face with your hands and Roll. You want to smother the fire while protecting your face, throat and lungs ... so don't beat at the fire with your hands - your body will do the best job of smothering.
Get Down And Stay Low ... Smoke rises while clean air stays low near the floor. So crawl while maintaining contact with the walls as you go to the nearest exit.
Cool A Burn ... Your best first aid is cool (not cold) water ... this helps to stop more skin damage from the heat. Do Not use salves or butter ... this treatment only traps the heat inside.
Check Out A Burn ... See your doctor right away about any burns that char the skin, blister, look white or become infected.
PROTECT YOURSELF ... Here are some simple ways you can stop fires before they happen ... or to be prepared when they do.
Install Working Smoke Detectors ... Have Smoke Detectors installed on every floor in your home. Test the Smoke Detectors according to the manufacturer's directions each week, and change the batteries at least once each year (a good idea is to change the batteries each year on a special birthday). Working Smoke Detectors can provide the early warning critical in giving you enough time to safely escape a burning fire.
Give Space Heaters Space ... Keep space heaters at least three feet away from everything ... including you. A slight brush against one could start a clothing fire.
Be Smoker Wary ... Have large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Fill the ashtrays with water before emptying them in a safe place. Check upholstered furniture for dropped matches or cigarettes. And never smoke in bed or while on medication that may make you sleepy.
Be Kitchen Wise ... Wear tight fitting sleeves while you cook. Set a timer so you never forget to turn off the burners or oven when you cook. And never use a cooking stove to heat your home.
Check Out Appliances ... Make sure all plugs and cords are in good shape. Replace any worn appliances. It's worth your peace of mind.
Sleep With Your Bedroom Door Closed ... Put closed doors between you and smoke. Also have a telephone nearby, preferably on your nightstand near your glasses, if you wear them. This will help you to see more clearly if you need to get out.
"Working Smoke Detectors Can Save Your Life!"