Senior Fire Safety

Americans over the age of 65 have a fire death rate nearly twice the national average. For those over 75, this jumps to three times the national average. Whether living independently or in a care facility, there are steps seniors can take to remain safe from fire.

Fire Safety for Older Adults

Kitchen Caution

  • Don't leave food unattended on the stove. If you must leave the kitchen, take a wooden spoon or potholder as a reminder.
  • Wear short or close fitting sleeves and an apron to avoid catching clothes on fire.
  • When cooking, keep a pot lid close by. In case of a pan fire, use the lid to smother the fire.
  • Clean the stove and toaster regularly to avoid grease and crumb buildup.
  • Use potholders, not towels, to handle hot pans and dishes.
  • Don’t use the oven to heat your home.

Heating Hazards

  • Keep everything at least one foot from any heat source.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and heaters when not using them.
  • Never hang clothes near a heater to dry them.
  • Don't leave portable heaters alone or go to sleep while they are on.
  • Make sure curtains hang well away from heat sources.

Safe Smoking

  • Never smoke in bed or while lying on the couch. 
  • Smoke only when alert— never when tired or drowsy.
  • Use a large, sturdy ashtray or purchase a special "safety ashtray".
  • After using an ashtray, leave it on the kitchen counter or in the sink overnight before emptying.
  • Always empty ashtrays into a non-burnable container, such as a metal garbage can.

At Bed Time

  • Keep your robe, slippers, eyeglasses and house keys close by the bed.
  • Check to be sure that any space heaters are turned off and heat is turned down.
  • Close your bedroom door while sleeping.

Be Prepared

  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Check smoke alarms monthly. If you need help with your smoke alarm or need help testing your smoke alarm, call the Halifax Fire Department at 1-781-293-1751.
  • Plan your escape routes (two from every room, if possible) in case a fire does strike. Locate two exit stairways from your apartment building. Never use elevators in a fire.

Calling 9•1•1

  • Place a 9•1•1 sticker on your phone so that you will always have the number at your fingertips during an emergency.
  • Call 9•1•1 from a safe location for any fire, medical or police emergency.

For More Information, Please Contact: Halifax Fire Department 1-781-293-1751