My father spent his whole career in fire safety, with residential and commercial fire sprinklers. This has prompted me to gain his prospective and provide some tips on senior fire safety. Every year, more than 27% of all deaths by fire are to persons the age of 70 and over. According to the National Fire Protection Association, seniors are twice as likely to die in a fire when compared to the rest of the population. Adults over 85 have a risk that is four and a half times that of the national average. “Seniors are vulnerable because they often live alone or are unable to respond as quickly as they need to in an emergency,” says current volunteer fireman Steve Terlesky. “With proper education and planning, many of these fire deaths and injuries can be prevented.”

When considering senior fire safety, the Government of Alberta’s Fire Safety for Seniors and the Fire Safety Checklist for Older Consumers, produced by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Association of State Fire Marshals provides excellent guidelines for senior fire safety. These offer a solid base for fire safety, but if you have any questions, never hesitate to contact a qualified expert.

In addition, it’s good to keep in mind that under Alberta law, all dwelling units (including rental units) must have smoke alarms. The Fire Code and Building Code have different codes for different types of buildings. Contact your local fire department or building branch if you have any questions about fire or building codes or how to install the alarm.

The City of Calgary also recommends that everyone develop a home escape plan. Here is a link to develop a Home Escape Plan with your family so that everyone knows what to if there is ever a fire in your home. It is important for everyone to know and practice these tips.

Share this information with your family or conduct your own inspection to ensure the home is as safe as can be.

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