Older adults at higher risk during fire emergencies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Springfield Fire Department takes fire safety seriously for all age groups, but especially for those in higher risk categories. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), older adults ages 65-74 are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fire compared to the population at large. By age 75, that risk increases to three times as likely. By age 85, it increases to four times as likely.
To increase fire safety for this age group, the SFD and the NFPA offers these guidelines:
- 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 emergency escape easier.
- Sound the alarm: You are most at risk when sleeping because smoke can put you in a deeper sleep rather than waking you. Consider installing a smoke alarm for the deaf/hard of hearing that uses a flashing light or vibration to alert you in a fire emergency.
- Automatic sprinkler system: If looking for a new place to live, consider a home or apartment complex with an automatic sprinkler system. Sprinklers can extinguish a home in less time than it takes for the Fire Department to arrive.
- Do the drill: Conduct your own or participate in regular fire drills to ensure you know what to do in case of a fire emergency. 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.
- Open up: Spring is a great time of year to make sure you are able to open all doors and windows in your home. If they are nailed or painted shut, arrange for someone to break the seals so you have egress in an emergency.
- Stay connected: Keep a telephone nearby, along with emergency phone so that you can communicate with 9-1-1 if you are trapped in your room by fire or smoke.
“We are proud to offer smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing to our community,” says Fire and Life Safety Educator Heather Parker. “We have been able to purchase these life-saving devices through grant funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Sedora Charitable Trust, and donations to our public education fund.”
Pictured right is Zone 2 neighbor Stan, who received a specialized smoke alarm for the deaf and hard of hearing. These alarms utilize bed shakers and strobe lights to warn those who can’t hear audible alarms that there is fire danger. The department has a limited number of these alarms available for those living in the city limits of Springfield.
The Fire Department provides free smoke alarms to Springfield residents. Call us at 417-874-2300 or email [email protected] to request an alarm.
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For media only: For more information, call the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.