Cold weather months are the peak season for house fires and related injuries and deaths, with cooking and heating equipment as the main causes. Americans 65 and older account for just 15 percent of the population but make up 40 percent of fire deaths.
Consider these sobering statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration:
- In 2017 the U.S. averaged 3,615 fires daily, with about 1,000 being residential fires.
- Cooking equipment was the cause of just over half of house fires.
- While cooking isn’t the leading cause of death in house fires, it is the leading cause of injury.
- With 3,400 total deaths annually, nine people, on average, died in house fires each day.
Older adults (over age 65) are the highest risk group for cooking fires. That’s due to seniors commonly experiencing decreased memory, hearing, vision, sense of smell and mobility as they age.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International has prepared cooking safety precautions for older adults, including these:
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling. Turn off the stove whenever leaving the kitchen.
- Use a timer to regularly remind you that you’re cooking.
- Turn handles of pots and pans to the side to avoid bumping them and spilling their contents.
- Wear short or close-fitting sleeves to avoid contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
- Check the kitchen when finished cooking to ensure burners and other appliances are turned off.
All seniors can benefit from these tips, as well as a fire safety checklist, and a home fire escape plan. However, those with health challenges can be safeguarded further with the protection offered by retirement apartments at senior communities.
Our residents’ safety and health top our list of priorities
At retirement communities like Country Meadows, where senior safety and health are our highest priorities, residents can have all their meals prepared for them. In addition, state-of-the-art sprinkler systems and smoke detectors in their retirement apartments also protect their safety.
At Country Meadows, each building has fire-rated doors throughout, including in individual residence rooms, to prevent the spread of smoke and fire.
Furthermore, flame-resistant fabrics and materials are used in furnishings, draperies and carpets.
Fire safety precautions also extend to training of our staff. New co-workers and volunteers are trained on fire safety and evacuation procedures for the entire campus. Each year, they are required to attend a retraining session. In addition to the mandatory training, co-workers and volunteers get a chance to take fire safety to the next level through practicing the use of an extinguisher on a simulated fire.
Country Meadows: personalized care in private retirement apartments
The caregivers at Country Meadows Retirement Communities help seniors lead safe and full lives while enjoying independence, privacy and friendship. We achieve that with a dedicated staff that provides respectful, personalized care according to each resident’s needs.
If you’re interested in choosing a retirement community, we hope you will accept our offer to learn more about Country Meadows. We would be glad to schedule a visit for you of our retirement apartments at any of our campuses. We have several senior living options, including memory support, at all our Pennsylvania retirement communities and our retirement community in Maryland.
Please contact us for information about retirement apartments at our 11 locations so that you can become familiar with our full range of senior living services.