Due to the pandemic, social interaction has changed from physical contact to virtual contact. Many elderly and people with disabilities are in fact in greater need of our care and attention. Hence, don’t forget to give them a call or drop a message, giving them a little warmth during this tough period.
A close examination of residential fire statistics in 2020 revealed that the lack of a smoke detector or automatic fire alarm system accounted for 50 deaths (60.24%), elderly or disabled people at home accounted for 39 deaths (46.99%), and not using incombustible or flame-resistant materials in the home accounted for 31 deaths (37.35%), which claimed the top three leading causes of death in residential fires.
Since we are heading towards a rapidly aging society, how to prevent a household fire and particularly ensure the safety of elderly and disabled people will soon become a big issue.
So, how are we going to help this vulnerable population escape from fire unharmed? It is very simple!
Many of us are already familiar with the “5 Don’ts and 1 Without” rules for electrical safety. Let’s combine those with the classic rule to “never leave the stove unattended”. (Just a reminder the 5 Don’ts and 1 Without are: Don’t overload your outlets, Don’t bundle and/or damage your wires, Don’t let your plug get wet or dirty, Don’t leave your plugs in the socket for a long time, Don’t place objects next to electrical appliances, and Without refers to using electrical appliances which have no safety labels.)
The following are also matters that need attention to protect the safety of the elderly and people with disabilities.
1. Install certified interconnected smoke detectors in each space of the house and set reminders to test them regularly and make sure they are in working order.
2. Always keep the escape route clear; older adults and people with disabilities should stay on the first floor in a room close to the fire exit.
3. Keep a walking aid right next to the bed when taking a nap or going to bed.
4. Shout for help in case of fire.
5. Use flame-resistant or fire-resistant indoor decoration and doors, and flame-retardant drapes and carpets.