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Seniors have the power to stop a fire before it starts | Community Spirit

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Seniors have the power to stop a fire before it starts
Seniors have the power to stop a fire before it starts

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Each year, approximately 1,100 Americans ages 65 and older die as a result of a home fire. During National Preparedness Month, the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department (FCFRD) reminds senior residents they have the power to stop a fire before it starts.

About 3,400 Americans die each year in fires and about 17,500 are injured. According the United State Fire Administration, compared to the rest of the U. S. population, people between 65 and 74 are nearly twice as likely to die in a fire.

The Fulton County Fire Rescue Department believes the best fire prevention is fire education and encourages seniors to learn how to protect themselves and their property from a house fire.

With a few simple steps, older people can dramatically reduce their risk of death and injury from fire.

Stop the fire before it starts:

  • Fire can easily happen in the kitchen, so be extra careful when cooking. Remember not to leave food unattended and don’t wear loose clothing, like shirts with big sleeves, when cooking.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Double-check the kitchen to be sure the oven and all appliances are turned off before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Replace mattresses made prior to the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
  • Keep combustible materials, like drapes and clothing, at least three (3) feet away from your heater, because they can catch on fire.
  • Never overload outlets or extension cords.

Be prepared for a fire:

  • One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm." A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire.
  • Prepare an escape plan and practice it twice a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two (2) escape routes from their bedrooms.

To learn more on how you can prevent fires and fire deaths, please contact FCFRD at 404-612-5700 (not 911) or visit www.usfa.fema.gov or www.ready.gov.