The National Fire Protection Association states there were more than 365,000 home fires in 2015. Of those fires, there were more than 11,000 injuries and 2,650 deaths. This should help you understand the importance of making sure your parents know what to do in case of a fire. Here are three easy-to-remember safety tips offered by the Red Cross that must be memorized.
When smoke alarms go off or a fire is noticed, the primary goal is to get out of the house safely. Your parents need to have escape routes mapped out and memorized. If they’re in bed upstairs and the fire is on the stairs, they cannot go downstairs to an exit. They need to have a plan for getting outside from an upstairs window. If they’re downstairs and the front door is blocked by fire, they need to have another route.
Make sure they have multiple escape routes planned out. Use these escape routes in monthly fire drills. They need to know where to meet up when they get out. They need to know that they cannot stop and grab items before leaving. They need to focus on getting out as quickly as possible.
It’s important to set up a meeting spot outside the house that’s a good distance away. If gas leaks cause an explosion of an appliance or gas tank, they need to be a safe distance from any debris. During a fire drill, have everyone gather in this set location to discuss any parts of the practice that were confusing or brought questions to mind.
Once they’re safely out of the house, your parents cannot go back inside. If a pet didn’t make it out, they can’t go back in to try to find the pet. For all they know, once they opened a window or door and escaped, the pet may have gotten out and is hiding in trees or a quieter area of the yard.
Your parents need to let the professionals go in and get anyone else out. The risk of smoke inhalation and burns is too great to risk their safety once they’re outside.
Call Once They’re Out
Your mom and dad cannot stop to call the fire company before evacuating. They need to get out and stay out. Once they’re out, they can go to a neighbor’s house and ask to use a phone or to have the neighbor call 911. If they have a cell phone with them, your mom and dad can make the call from a safe location outside.
Don’t leave your parents alone. If you find they forget to turn off the stove or oven, hire a caregiver to help with meals. Caregivers can also help with fire safety drills. Learn more about caregivers and the services we offer by contacting us today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.