When the weather gets cold and it’s time to turn on the heat on the risk of having a house fire goes up. Seniors who use propane, wood stoves, or other sources of heat need to be extra careful during the winter. Many seniors live in older homes that may have radiator heat or have forced air vents that can become blocked pretty easily. House fires can be particularly deadly for seniors because seniors sometimes can’t react quickly enough to get out of the house if there is a fire. Home care can make sure that seniors are able to react quickly if there is a fire in the home, and home care can also help seniors do these things to prevent a fire:
Get All Chimneys Cleaned
Any fireplaces, pellet stoves, or wood stoves that have chimneys should have their chimneys cleaned professionally before those heat sources are used. Making sure the chimney has been cleaned, checked for cracks or damage, and had any issues repaired can significantly reduce the risk of a fire. The creosote that builds up in a chimney of a fireplace or woodstove that burns wood is very flammable. If it’s not removed each year the risk of a house fire increases.
Change The Batteries In The Smoke Detector
Experts recommend that everyone change the batteries in their smoke detector at the same time each year so that the detector works properly. Changing the batteries in the fall or early winter is a great time to change them because then the smoke detector will be working at its best during the season when seniors most need it to be working properly. It’s also a good idea to get a smoke detector with a light that flashes as well as a siren that sounds if your senior loved one has a hard time hearing.
Change The Air Filters On The Heater
Even traditional electric and gas furnaces can sometimes malfunction and cause fires. Make sure that the air filter for the furnace is getting changed each month or if the filter is not replaceable make sure it’s getting vacuumed and cleaned out each month. Home care can help seniors make sure that tasks like changing the air filter and changing the batteries in the smoke detector get done when they should be done.
Keep The Area Around Heater Clutter Free
Clutter can build up quickly, but if too much clutter builds up in front of a fireplace, wood stove, or other heating element like a radiator that can cause a house fire. Seniors need to have a clutter free home for many different safety reasons but avoiding a house fire is one of them. Home care can help seniors maintain their home so that it doesn’t become overrun with clutter. Picking up mail, newspaper, books, clothes, and other flammable objects will help reduce the risk of a house fire. So will making sure that there is no furniture, rugs, or other obstructions that are blocking radiators or heat vents in your senior loved one’s home.