Seniors at risk for fire related injuries and fatalities - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Seniors at risk for fire related injuries and fatalities

According to the National Fire Protection Association, a home fire is reported in the United States every 85 seconds.

And adults over the age of 65 are twice as likely to die in a home fire than the general population.

Jeanie Rhodes, director of the Grand Strand Senior Center, says she realizes just how easy it is for fires to get started.

"When you get busy or you're thinking about something else, you tend to forget that you've left the stove on," said Rhodes.

Lieutenant and Fire Prevention Specialist Christian Sliker says the facts speak for themselves. "Thirty-three people in the state of South Carolina have passed from a fire fatality and they were over the age of 51. That's actually 64 percent of fire fatalities, and that's a big number."

But Sliker says there are steps you can take to prevent injury and deaths from fire.

Always remember to turn off cooking appliances. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the leading cause of fire injuries to older adults is cooking-related incidents.

And don't let dust build up on radiators and heating units. Keep anything that can burn away from heat sources and make sure to have smoke alarms on every level of your home.

"Our whole concern here is the health and welfare of our seniors. And we need to make sure they're more aware of what goes on, and what they should and shouldn't be doing," said Sliker.
It's a big problem, but a few extra seconds of checking to make sure all heating sources are off can make all the difference.

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