When it comes to the elderly, the importance of fire safety can never be understated. According to statistics, Americans over the age of 65 are the group with the largest number of fire fatalities. Every year, more than 900 Americans aged 65 and up die in fires.
An elderly man threatened by home fire in San Diego
Last October 3, a fire started in a detached garage in El Cajon, CA around 4:45 p.m. The fire raged and started to spread to the main house where a disabled 83-year old was home alone. According to the reports, the senior citizen, Earvin Brundege, suffered from dementia. He also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, and seemed completely unaware of the fire. Thankfully, some neighbors soon became concerned for his safety. When the elder Brundege did not make any effort to get out of the house to save himself, they smashed the front window. They then climbed into the house, picked him up, and carried him out to the other side of the street.
After some time passed, Brundege’s family arrived and thanked the rescuers for their heroic deed.
Fire Risk Factors for Older People
Every person has different physical and mental capacities, which may decline as we age. Some senior citizens swim laps and run marathons, while others in their 80s and 90s have minds that remain as sharp as ever. Yet these seniors tend to be the exception, not the norm. Most people of advanced age suffer from some form of physical and/or mental decline. Those things are what limits their mobility to varying degrees and makes escape from a fire all the more difficult.
Fire Education for the Elderly
It is important to inform and educate the elderly about the increased risk of fire for their age group. It is also equally important to do the same for their families and caretakers. National Fire Prevention month may be over, but it’s never too late to visit your local fire department to obtain fire safety education. In addition to fire hazard knowledge, the elderly and their families need to know the importance of having smoke detectors. Most importantly, replacing their batteries each year as well.
Restoration after the Fire
With your family safe and sound, fire damage restoration professionals such as Umpire Mitigation in Middleburg, VA, can help you get your life back to normal after a fire by removing water and residual moisture, drying the affected areas, and cleaning your home.