The comforting aroma of a freshly baked pie, the soft hum of a favorite tune, the cherished memories framed on the walls – our homes are more than just brick and mortar; they are the very essence of who we are.
As we grow older and choose to age in place, the significance of our homes becomes even more profound. But with this deep connection comes a responsibility: ensuring that our sanctuaries remain safe and secure.
Fire, an unpredictable and unforgiving force, poses a threat that can turn our haven into havoc within moments.
As an aging in place specialist, I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of fires on families, especially our elderly loved ones. But the good news? With the right fire safety equipment and awareness, we can fortify our homes against this menace.
I believe that there are essential fire safety tools that every household should have, ensuring peace of mind and protection for years to come.
After my mom passed away, Dad lived alone in their home for more than a year. He had no idea how to cook on the stove or use a microwave. Mom had always done the cooking and Dad had probably heated food on the stove about a dozen times in his life.
You can see why I was concerned about him cooking alone.
Not to be a Gloomy Gus, but the National Fire Protection Association reports that cooking fires are the #1 source of home fires and injuries from a home fire.
Mix in an elderly person who is aging in place like my dad, who may be somewhat frail or on medications that can make them dizzy or fatigued and when you see that statistic, it’s pretty scary.
Because I was worried about my dad, I took steps to put safety measures in place in his kitchen. Now I’m passing that information on to you.
Here are the top things I think you need to have in a senior parent’s kitchen (well, probably these should be in everyone’s kitchen).
Easiest Fire Extinguisher For Seniors To Use
I could hardly imagine my 95 year old father trying to figure out how to use a traditional fire extinguisher in a panic situation, so we got him a fire extinguishing blanket (available on Amazon).
If you want an easy-to-use alternative for putting out a stove fire, consider a fire extinguishing blanket. This will put out a pan fire (liquid or grease). All the senior has to do is pull down the tabs on the wrapper, open the blanket,and toss it onto the fire.
Gas stove alarms monitor for gas leaks. They give an audible alert if they detect one.
The most budget-friendly model is a gas stove alarm that you can just plug in and walk away from. I like the First Alert Plug-in Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Alarm. It plugs into any standard outlet and detects natural gas, propane gas, and carbon monoxide.
Simplest Fire Suppressor – For Electric Stoves Only
A simple device for fire suppression on an electric stove is the StoveTop FireStop.
It’s basically designed to put out grease fires and automatically deploys when it comes in contact with flames. Mounted by magnets to the underside of the range hood, StoveTop FireStop gives you invisible peace-of-mind.
These are just a few of the many kitchen products that are available for seniors today. As more and more elderly age in place, it’s paramount to do what can be done to make the home as safe as possible.
These gadgets and more can help to create that safe environment for your elderly loved ones.