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Seniors fire safety

Seniors (those aged 65 years and older) are more likely to be injured or killed in a house fire than any other group. Therefore the FRNSW sees it as vital to try to help seniors to reduce the potential for tragic situations in the future.

The majority of residential fires begin in the kitchen and are often the result of cooking being left unattended on the stove. Other common causes of fire include electrical appliance failure, overloading powerpoints, and appliances not being switched off at the power point. 

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said there were simple steps that seniors, and everyone else, could take to improve safety measures in the home.

Fire safety tips:

  • Install and maintain photoelectric smoke alarms, which can be hard-wired and interconnected so that when one sounds they all sound.
  • If you’re unable to maintain your smoke alarms due to infirmity, then contact your local fire station. Firefighters assist the elderly to check that smoke alarms are working and change batteries.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan regularly and if you live alone, involve your neighbours.
  • Install deadlocks that can be opened from the inside without keys. Where the door needs a key to operate, leave keys in locks or nearby so that you can find them easily in an emergency.
  • If you have difficulty hearing, then consider installing special smoke alarms which have a flashing strobe light and vibrating pad that can be placed under the pillow while you sleep and will activate when the smoke alarm sounds.
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000). Never assume that someone else has done so.

More fire safety tips for seniors including information on the Smoke Alarm and Battery REplacement (SABRE) and smoke alarm fact sheets for the hearing impaired can be viewed on this website.

For more advice contact your local fire station.