Seniors are Especially Vulnerable in a Fire

Make sure your fire extinguishers are fully charged and readily accessible  |  photo courtesy Ready Marin  |  story re-posted from Sausalito Village

Last October’s firestorms claimed 44 victims and the majority were elderly. Statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration confirm that people ages 85 or older have the highest fire death rate (39.5%). They are four times more likely to die in a fire than the general population.

Professionals emphasize that planning what to do in a fire emergency can make all the difference. If there is a fire in your home, you likely have fewer than three minutes to get out, so being prepared ahead of time is crucial. Decision-making in a life-threatening situation is severely compromised; therefore, lists and grab-and-go bags can be the difference between surviving and succumbing.

For most of us, imagining disaster scenarios is unpleasant and frightening. But for those with mobility, hearing, vision or cognitive problems, contemplating these possibilities is downright psychologically paralyzing. Three minutes might allow for a safe escape, but what if you rely on a walker or wheelchair? Or can barely see? Or what if you no longer drive?

This article first appeared in the Marin Voice of the Independent Journal on September 23, 2019.

Read entire article.