Adults over age 65 are at the highest risk of being killed or injured in a fire. Here are some important fire safety tips for seniors and Albertans of all ages, quoted from Office of the Fire Commissioner website:
1. If you smoke, smoke outside.
- Provide smokers with large, deep ashtrays. Stub it Right, Don’t Ignite
- If you smoke on your balcony, be sure to install a safe, fire-proof ashtray.
- Never extinguish smoking materials in plant pots.
- Wet cigarette butts and ashes before throwing them out or bury them in sand.
- Never smoke in bed.
2. If you use medical oxygen, don’t smoke.
- Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is used.
- Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs inside and outside the home.
- Keep oxygen cylinders at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) from a heat source, open flames, or electrical devices.
- Keep oil and grease, body oil and hand lotion, away from where oxygen is in use.
3. Be kitchen wise.
- Wear tight – fitting or short sleeves when cooking.
- Use oven mitts to handle hot pans.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- If a pan of food catches fire, slide a lid over it and turn off the burner.
- Don’t cook if you are drowsy from alcohol or medication.
4. Give space heaters space.
- Keep them at least three feet (one meter) away from anything that can burn – including you.
- Shut off and unplug heaters when you leave your home, or go to bed.
5. Stop, drop, and roll.
- If your clothes catch on fire: stop (don’t run), drop gently to the ground, cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth to put out the fire.
- If you cannot do that, smother the flames with a towel or blanket.
- Use cool water for 3 to 5 minutes to cool the burn. Get medical help right away.
6. Smoke alarms save lives.
- Have working smoke alarms installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Have someone test your smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
- Make sure everyone in your home can hear your smoke alarms, especially family members with reduced hearing.
7. Plan and practice your escape from fire and smoke.
- If possible know two ways out of every room in your home.
- Make sure windows and doors open easily.
- In a fire, get out and stay out.
8. Know your local emergency number.
- It may be 9-1-1 or the fire department’s phone number.
- Have a telephone in your bedroom and post the local emergency number nearby in case you are trapped by smoke or fire.
- Once you’ve escaped a fire, call the fire department from a neighbour’s phone or a cellular phone.
Have a safe and fire-free August to residents of all ages!