October 9 is officially Fire Prevention Day. On or around this date is the perfect time to take a look at what types of fire prevention procedures and equipment are in place for your aging adult. If anything is incomplete or needs replacing, now is definitely the time.
Check Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are one of the easiest and least expensive fire prevention tools you can add to your aging family member’s home. Ideally, there should be one in ever bedroom and at least one on every floor of the house. Test each smoke alarm once a month and switch out the batteries once every three months. When you get in the habit of this, it’s second nature to keep smoke alarms in good working order.
Add Features to Smoke Alarms
If your elderly family member is hard of hearing, there are smoke alarms that use bright strobe lights as well as an alarm that can alert her. Another feature you might want to consider adding is called a bed shaker. This is a device that slides between the mattress and the box spring and vibrates the bed when the smoke alarm goes off.
Consider a Sprinkler System
It’s definitely possible to install a sprinkler system in your senior’s home, but you might want to research it thoroughly first. Sprinkler systems give everyone in the home a little more time to get safely out of the house if there is a fire. If your senior is planning to move, one of the features you might want to look for is a built-in sprinkler system of some sort.
Develop an Escape Plan
One of the most important fire prevention items you need in place is an escape plan. Take into account any health issues your senior has as well as how she can best exit the home if there’s a fire. Practice the plan and make sure that anyone who helps your senior, such as senior care providers, is familiar with the escape plan. If you’re having a tough time formulating a plan, your local fire department can come out and help.
Even if you are a day or so late with your fire prevention plans, you’re still thinking about what you can do if the worst should happen. Update your escape plans as needed and make sure that you write down the dates you last checked smoke alarms and other devices. That helps you keep up with what’s been done and what needs to be done.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in St. Paul, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.