Elder Care Safety: Teaching Seniors How to Respond to a Fire Alarm

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

January 15, 2016

Elder Care in Monroeville PA

Keeping your aging loved ones safe is one of the most important elements of your elder care journey, and one of the best ways to give yourself peace of mind that they are as safe as possible Elder-Care-Monroeville-PAwhether they are home on their own, with you, or in the care of their elderly health care services provider is to empower them to take care of themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
A fire in the home is one of the most terrifying experiences that you can encounter in your elder care journey with them. Having smoke alarms throughout the home is the first line of defense, alerting you to the beginning of a fire so that you can respond as quickly and effectively as possible. Helping your loved ones know how to respond to such an alarm helps to empower them to respond promptly and keep themselves as safe as possible should a fire occur in their home.
Things you should teach your seniors about responding to a fire alarm include:
• Know at least two routes. Work with your parents and their senior health care services provider to find at least two routes out of the home. This ensures that no matter where they are in the home when the alarm goes off, they have the best chances of getting out of the house safely. Make sure that there is a meeting place outside so that you, your parents, and their senior health care services provider can all come together and know that everyone is alright.
• Respond immediately. Instruct your parents that they should get out of the house as soon as they hear the fire alarm go off. They should not try to move through the house or go into other areas of the home for personal belongings.
• Test for heat. Make sure your parents know to test any closed doors that they need to open when trying to get out of the house by placing their hand flat on it to feel for heat. If it feels hot to the touch, they should not open the door and should either choose a different route, or do whatever they can to draw attention to their location.
• Give as much information as possible. Encourage your parents to communicate as soon as possible with the emergency responders when they arrive. If they know that someone has not met at the meeting spot or if there are pets in the home, let the firefighters know immediately so that they can focus on finding them and getting them out.
• Avoid lower floors. If the fire breaks out on an upper floor of the building, your parents should not go to the lower floors of the house or should take extreme caution when leaving the home. This is where the structural damage of the home can be the most dangerous, including causing falling debris.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care services in Monroeville, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551