A key to safety and independence for the elder at home is preventing falls and injury, correcting common household hazards and planning ahead for emergencies.

Topic: Fire Safety

• Install smoke detectors and be sure they are in working order, test regularly.
• Install carbon monoxide detectors and be sure they are working, test regularly.
• Heat the residence safely and have regular furnace maintenance.
• Keep portable heaters at least 3 feet away from people and flammable objects.
• Never dry clothing on portable heaters.
• Do not use ovens and cooking stoves for heating.
• Store flammable materials away from heat producing sources.
• Avoid smoking, if a senior must smoke designate a smoking area away from flammable items and furniture, use large deep ashtrays.
• Never smoke if using oxygen.
• Minimize the use of extension cords, if using extension cords assure they are in good condition and appropriate to the need.
• Have fire extinguishers in the home, within reach and in working order.
• If utilizing wood stoves or fireplaces ascertain ember screens are in use, surroundings are clear and chimneys have regular cleaning and maintenance.
• Make sure exit paths are clear and doors are easily managed by the elder.