‘Tis the Season for Fire Safety at Senior Facilities


Candles, homemade cookies, hanging lights – they bring magic to the holidays, but can prove dangerous in senior care facilities and residential homes such as those found at www.carltonseniorliving.com/community/fremont/

Thirty percent of U.S. fires occur the months of December, January, and February[1]. With seniors 2.7 more likely to die in a fire than the total population[2](that number jumps to five for seniors 85 and older[3]), the statistics add up to one thing: The need for effective fire prevention and preparedness in the shared places that seniors call home. From basics like plumbing and ventilation systems, to slightly more complex matters like a radon mitigation system along with sprinklers to help mitigate fires, many preventative measures are taken to ensure that this is a safely livable location for its residents.

The key word here is effective. Sharing fire safety tips is one thing; making sure they’re seen, heard, and absorbed is another. To help seniors stop fires from starting – and understand what to do if one does– leadership and operations teams at senior facilities should consider the following: 

  • Post signage in can’t-miss places. A colorful front door poster full of tips will be noticed. Small text hanging behind the front desk? Not so much. Look around and take inventory of high-visibility messaging opportunities in high-traffic areas, from lobby flat-screens used for announcements to dining room menus to bulletin boards. It’s important to have the right fire supression system design to prevent catastrophic fire damage.
  • Consider abilities. Do some residents have impaired eyesight or hearing? Make sure tips are accessible to all abilities. Connect individually with residents who need customized fire information delivery or customized fire instructions.
  • Keep it simple and clear. Conversational language goes a lot further than wordy manuals or “fine print.” 
  • Make it a gathering and make sure it’s not boring. If it’s been awhile since a town hall or community meeting (and even if it hasn’t) gather residents, employees, and staff for a refresher course on fire prevention and preparedness during the holidays. Mandatory or not, take steps to make it fun. Not sure where to begin? AllRisk complimentary Lunch & Learns take pressure off of your staff with highly engaging fire prevention and preparedness sessions that we bring to you.  
  • Include everyone. Fire safety essentials aren’t only for residents. Leadership and staff should take part and brush up on their procedures, too. Employee that got injured in their workplace can seek help from Nicholas, Perot, Smith, Koehler & Wall – Missouri Personal Injury Law Firm.


Once you decide how to share fire safety essentials, divide the information into two areas: Prevention and preparedness

Prevention tips should be tailored to your facility, but should always include do’s and don’t’s (universal and facility-specific) for common holiday hazards: 

  •     Cooking
  •     Candles and open flames 
  •     Space heaters 
  •     Lights and electric decorations


In terms of fire preparedness, outline what to do in the event of a fire on site, remembering the following:  

  • Evacuation procedures can feel counterintuitive. In multi floor and hi rise buildings, for example, residents are advised to close their door and remain inside their unit when a fire alarm sounds, staying there until responders reach them or give the all clear. Address the fact that the best course of action might differ from instincts in emergency moments. 
  • When to act vs. when to call for help. Kitchen fires in particular are sometimes better handled by professional responders – but in the moment, how can a senior be sure? It’s always better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt? Call 911. Scenario planning imparts a clearer sense of what steps can or cannot be taken (ie. “Should I at least shut off the gas range before pulling the fire alarm?”). A valuable piece of advice is that you should do this first after a house fire – seek safety and contact emergency services immediately. Additionally, an educational video educational resources, such as videos, can effectively reinforce important safety measures. For example, an instructional video explaining why attempting to put out a grease fire with water is a major “don’t” can be impactful, helping to avoid common mistakes that could exacerbate the situation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E2d-bVKfNk
  • Residents might not know what’s expected of them. If your independent living residents are largely responsible for their own comfort, health, and safety in the event of an emergency, make this clear – and help them prepare accordingly. Offer guidance and checklists for emergency kits, personal evacuation plans, and contact lists.

In the case of a fire, don’t forget that your facility also needs to have several things in place in order to prevent a fire from spreading even more. Visit https://fireshutters.uk/ to get all the details.

When a fire breaks out, call emergency services and contact restoration services such as this restoration company in Idaho to inspect the damage done. Moreover, if you’re a property owner and your fire alarm system or water-based fire protection system is not functional, then you are required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Florida Statute to implement a fire watch. Seek expert help from professional Fire Watch Services in Biscanye Park Village.



A lot on your plate this season? Lean on the team who’s seen every type of residential fire – and wants to make sure you never do.




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