Elderly the focus of fire safety

ELDERLY residents on the Coffs Coast are the focus of a fire safety campaign in the lead-up to Seniors Week (March 21 to 28).

The NSW Fire Brigades say older citizens are more likely to be injured or killed in a house fire than any other age group.

“The majority of residential fires begin in the kitchen and are often the result of cooking being left unattended on the stove,” said NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner Greg Mullins.

“Other common causes of fire include electrical appliance failure, overloading power points and appliances not being switched off at the power point.

“There are simple steps that seniors and everyone else can take to improve safety measures in the home.”

The following is a list of important measures you should take:

• Install and maintain photoelectric smoke alarms which can be hard-wired and inter-connected so that when one sounds they all sound.

• If you are unable to maintain your smoke alarms due to infirmity, then contact your local fire station.

• Develop and practice a home escape plan regularly and if you live alone, involve your neighbours.

• Install deadlocks which can be opened from the inside without keys but if the door needs a key to operate, leave keys in locks or nearby so you can easily find them 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; and in an emergency, dial 000.

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