Health Tip: Fire Safety for Seniors

Factors that raise their risk of injury and death

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(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.

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