Family caregivers do all they can think of to ensure senior loved ones are safe at home.
And there is SO much to consider!
There are many things we do such as remove throw rugs, ensure there are enough lights, be sure there is food in the house, and install programmable thermostats to be sure they are comfortable all year long.
But have you thought about getting a fire extinguisher in their home in case they inadvertently start a fire especially in the kitchen?
If your senior loved one is a smoker, it is really important to be able to fight a fire as a dropped cigarette can start a fire in their bed or their favorite chair pretty quickly.
Keep Fire Extinguishers Where They Might be Needed
There are small versions of fire extinguishers that can be kept under the kitchen or bathroom sink so it will be handy to find and use it in an emergency.
Another good place to keep one ready to go is near an exit door to help your senior exit the home safely.
It is vital to be sure they can lift it and use it easily so a smaller model might work best.
Senior loved ones may need reminders that there is a fire extinguisher available and refreshers on how to use it properly.
It is a good idea to check the extinguisher yourself from time to time to be sure it is still usable and stored where it is supposed to be. Most extinguishers will be OK until they are discharged and then they will need to be recharged or replaced.
Remember, the first consideration is always going to be to call the fire department (or 911) and get everyone to safety.
You and your senior can attempt to deal with a small fire until help arrives, but if the fire is large or spreads quickly, it is best to evacuate the area and then call 911.
Here are some tips to use a fire extinguisher in the home:
- Before you and your senior need it, read the instructions about how to use it correctly. Demonstrate its use and do regular reminders for safety.
- Evacuate everyone from a room with smoke or a fire and have someone call the fire department before you do anything.
- When using the extinguisher follow the word PASS –
P – pull the pin
A – aim low pointing at the base of the fire
S – squeeze the lever slowly
S – sweep the nozzle from side to side
- Select a multipurpose extinguisher and place in convenient locations throughout house including the exit door so you can safely exit the house.
Here are some more stories and even a video to help you learn more about fire extinguisher and home safety for aging in place seniors.