June 3, 2009
Health Tip: Fire Safety for Seniors
Factors that raise their risk of injury and death
(HealthDay News) -- People 85 and older are five times more likely than younger people to die in a fire, the FireSafety.gov Web site warns.
Here's the site's list of why seniors are at increased risk of death or injury in a fire:
- Seniors' reflexes and response times are not always as fast as those of younger people.
- Medications that many seniors take may impact reflexes and decision-making abilities.
- Seniors who live alone don't have the help they need to prevent and react to factors that cause fires, including cooking and accidents.
- Unsafe use of cigarettes and other smoking materials is a common cause of fires involving seniors.
- Improperly used or maintained heating equipment, such as wood-burning stoves or electric space heaters, are a frequent cause of fires involving older people.
- Wiring problems in older homes are another significant cause of fires.