Fire Prevention Month (and week) raises awareness about fire safety and home safety to help ensure your home and family are prepared in the case of an emergency. This is a perfect time to discuss fire safety with your family. Every family’s safety plans will differ from the next, that is why it is important to sit down with your whole family and plan your home’s fire safety plans.
In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association named the second week in October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, we celebrate Fire Prevention Week and Month by raising awareness and educating families, students and communities across the United States. Fire departments go around to schools and communities to talk to kids and teach them about fire safety and what to do to keep your home safe and what to do in case of a fire.
According to the NFPA*, in 2016 there were 352,000 home fires, and 3 out of 5 fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms.
Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan.
Carbon monoxide is the #1 cause of accidental death.
These facts and statistics are reasons why your home needs to be equipped with the proper amount of fire safety equipment and alarms. Fire Prevention Month is a great time to kick start your families commitment to fire safety!
This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:
LISTEN Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
Forgetting to monitor the batteries in your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is a common error that could have major repercussions. This is why 10-year battery-operated alarms continue to gain popularity. With battery-operated smoke alarms, it is recommended that batteries are replaced every six months. However, with 10-year battery-operated smoke alarms, you can rest assured knowing that 10-year sealed battery offers continuous power for the life of the alarm.
“Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury—rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility.”
― Peter H. Diamandis, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
Aging in Place
I have always said: If you want a BIG Opportunity, find a BIG Problem…Aging in Place is both. Recently I’ve come across the extraordinary work of Peter H. Diamandis. He too, is fond of saying something similar:
There is no problem we can’t solve it’s just a matter of being smarter, bringing the right people together, the right technology, the right capital, every problem can be solved. Once you get over the initial dismay of the problem, the shock of oh my God what am I going to do about this? If you can flip your mind, say OK there is an opportunity here, right…Problems are Gold Mines.
Aging in Suburbia
The aging of boomers presents a number of challenges (aka problems), not the least of which is where this first suburban generation will want to grow old. A recent National Association of Home Builders report focusing on baby boomer housing preferences found that the majority of boomers want the suburban, single-family lifestyle. This preference was fine for younger able-bodied individuals who could jump in their cars and drive to goods and services whenever the need arose. However, it’s not that simple when chronic infirmities are now a part of the equation.
So far, this is a problem in search of solutions. Aging-in-place professionals and governments have been slow to respond, and silos prevent the kind of cross pollination of IDEAS needed to solve this cultural dilemma that’s just off shore brewing. This is going to take “Moon-shot thinking,” the kind guys like Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler are engaged in.
3D Printing to the Rescue
I have mentioned in prior posts that one way to potentially solve this TITANIC National Priority problem of Aging in Suburbia and “Care Deserts” is to bring goods and services to the burbs–serve the masses where they are. So, unless this is happening to you, or someone you love, the problem isn’t on your radar screen…Yet…But it will be, sooner than you could ever imagine. When your time comes, and you’ve worked through the initial dismay of the problem, the shock of oh my God what am I going to do about this? If you can flip your mind, say OK there is an opportunity here, right…Problems are Gold Mines. Suddenly, you have what I like to call “the burden of insight” a new sense of urgency and what’s possible.
I’ve envisioned how drones could deliver medications, food (meals on drones), and other lifesaving services, to the aging-in-place older adult, but how about 3D Printing? Peter Diamandis talks about how 3D printers could go into space and set up shop once they arrived. This would eliminate the challenges (weight and expense) of taking goods and services to far off destinations; you instead 3D print them when you arrive at your final destination. This got me thinking, the problem is similar in that transportation of goods to a distant location is costly and challenging–making the parallel, why not have 3D printers in suburban homes that could print goods on-demand for an aging population?
For example, in medications; say your MD writes a code script for Coumadin, when your smart-pill container runs out the 3D printer goes to work printing your next month’s supply–no need to drive to town, no need to go to the pharmacy. What other kinds of applications are possible for 3D printing that would facilitate aging in place? This is just one example; the sky is the limit for creative solutions and opportunities to do well while doing good.
“Right now, and for the first time ever, a passionate and committed individual has access to the technology, minds, and capital required to take on any challenge.” -Peter H. Diamandis
The overwhelming majority of home fires are caused by unattended or forgotten cooking.
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Fire is the number one emergency in the United States. The U.S. Fire Administration reports each year, more than 4,000 Americans die in fires, more than 25,000 are injured in fires, and more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty. Most of these deaths occur in residences and could have been prevented.
Older adults face the greatest relative risk of dying in a fire. In a report by the US Fire Administration in 2014 older adults represented 14 percent of the United States population but suffered 38 percent of all fire deaths. Older adults over 65 have 2.6 times greater risk of dying in a fire than the total population. And those ages 85 and over were 4.1 times more likely to die in a fire than the total population.
10 simple tips to help you avoid fires and reduce the risk of injury:
1) Smoke Alarms – These are a very important addition to your home. Smoke alarms are widely available and inexpensive. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.
2) Prevent Electrical Fires – Don’t overload circuits or extension cords. Cords and wires should never be placed under rugs or in high traffic areas. Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet. If the plug loosely fits, inspect the outlet right away. A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.
3) Keep Plugs Safe – Unplug all appliances when not in use. Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and use your senses to spot any potential disasters. If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks – the appliance should be shut off immediately, then replaced or repaired.
4) Alternate Heaters – Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit. Anything that could catch fire should be at least three feet away. Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.
5) Fire Safety Sprinklers – When combined with working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers greatly increase your chance of surviving a fire. Sprinklers are affordable and they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.
6) Create An Escape Route – Create and practice your escape plan with your family from every room in the house. Practice staying low to the floor and checking for hot doors using the back of your hand. It’s just like a routine school fire drill – but in your home.
7) Position Appliances Carefully – Try to keep TV sets, kitchen and other appliances away from windows with curtains. If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire quickly. Additionally, keeping your appliances away from water sources (like rain coming in from windows) can help prevent wiring damage which can lead to a fire.
8) Clean Dryer Vents – Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas. Clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete. Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil. Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage & check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.
9) Be Careful Around the Holidays – If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire. Check all of your lights prior to stringing them up and dispose of anything with frayed or exposed wires.
10) Conduct Regular Inspections – Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month. Taking a little time to do this each month can really pay off.
Following these simple tips could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one. Pass this list on to your friends and family and make this fire prevention month count!
We are pleased to announce the much anticipated release of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ online course!
Our goal is to provide a holistic curriculum and a fresh look at many issues affecting seniors endeavoring to “age safe at home”.
The Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course empowers participants with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 5-hour self-paced audio/video course offers the only certificate of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry. This important training consists of a 17-module self-study educational program with a quiz after each section that participants must pass in order to continue. Upon successfully completing the entire course, you will receive an attractive Certificate along with a digital copy of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ emblem to use in your own marketing efforts.
What is Covered in This Online Course:
– Fall Prevention Myths and Solutions
– Fire Safety Precautions and Solutions
– Aging-in Place Home Modifications
– Mobility and Accessibility Issues
– Home and Senior Safety Technologies
– Considerations for Alzheimer’s/Dementia
– Crime Prevention and Personal Safety
– Senior Exploitation, Identity Theft and Scams
– Communication with Older Adults and Family
– Performing a Complete Home Safety Assessment
If you have a group of 4 or more participants please use the form to the right to request a 25% DISCOUNT!
Here’s what people are saying about the course:
“I would recommend all professionals working with older adults in the home make this part of their overall certifications, such as CPR and AED, because it will save lives.” – Oscar E. Rodriguez, MD
“The Age Safe America Senior Home Safety Specialist is a tremendously comprehensive training on the identification of and solutions to the dangerous hazards in the home that put our older adults health at risk. I would recommend all professionals working with older adults in the home make this training a part of their overall certifications, such as CPR and AED certifications, because it will save lives. As a physician, I also would encourage family members with older loved ones, either in their homes or wanting to age in place, have a certified Senior Home Safety Specialist evaluate their home’s safety to prevent their loved ones from having to suffer an avoidable, costly and possibly life-threatening injury in the home.” – Oscar E. Rodriguez, MD, MBA, Co-founder/Chief Medical Officer Reassure Analytics, Inc.
“An amazing collection of information, well-presented. Good reminders of things we knew or should have known and a whole lot more new info – especially the Alzheimer’s segments. Great job! I like the way the segments are different lengths and formats also. Obviously a lot of time and effort went into the creation and production of this course”. – Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS NAHB Master Instructor | CAPS Instructor of the Year 2015
“The Age Safe America course methodology and learning instruments for the purpose of Senior Home Safety Specialist provides an active part of being the expert to solve current home safety issues. Goals and objectives are clearly defined. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods offers effective ways to assess goals and outcomes for the family. Participants will demonstrate the ability and skill to discuss, analyze, and show knowledge in this very fragmented field.” – Robert Gurinowitsch C.E.A.C. COO Home Access Professionals
“The information in this course is excellent. I have been working with the senior population as an Occupational Therapy Assistant for 6 years. I’ve been on a lot of home evaluations and I must say that the material presented in this course is highly relevant and accurate, and I learned a great deal of new information regarding home safety modifications for seniors. I highly recommend this course”. – Jay Chapman OT
“I completed this course at the same time I was trained for the CAPS designation. This course dovetailed well with the CAPS courses I took because it extended the material to safety in many meaningful ways. Adding another layer of effective ways to help my clients be safe as they age in place at home.” – Laura Miller, CSA, CAPS, Life Transition Specialist
“The Age Safe America course is extremely well organized and informative. The instructors are knowledgeable and provide clear examples for the student to achieve success. There was not one glitch with the software which is amazing considering the amount of audio and video files attached to the training course. The idea of the point system and badges is brilliant because it provides the user with visual goals and a sense of accomplishment. Well Done!” – Christopher MacLellan, M.A., “The Bowtie Guy” Caregiver Advocate, Founder of the Whole Care Network
“Age Safe America has created a comprehensive course with a perfect fit of content, information, and pacing. The course was current and included new and updated information as well as served as a refresher, both with added value. The variety of topics were above my expectations. Although the course is 6 hours, it is formatted just perfectly. As an Occupational Therapist and Certified Aging In Place Specialist I know this course knowledge will be used in my daily work. For anyone working with seniors, their families, caregivers and the community this course is a MUST. I continue to be impressed with Age Safe as they lead the cause for Senior Safety and Advocacy.” – Raphaele Wagner, MS, OTR/L, CAPS, CHC
“Being in health care for over 18 years as a Home Care franchise owner, Publisher of two Seniors resource magazines and Vice President of the State of Illinois Continuity of Care Association, I thought I knew it all…well, I didn’t. Excellent program, timely information and great presentation. Will recommend Highly to my colleagues!” – Michael Quirk, Publisher Seniors BlueBook, Chicago, IL.
“The amount of information included in the Senior Home Safety Specialist course is truly impressive. Each module helps to reinforce the fundamental aspects of improving home safety for Seniors as well as providing significant new information on everything from new technologies to understanding the challenges preparing a home for someone with progressing dementia. The comprehensive checklist helps to ensure that no potential hazard is overlooked while conducting a home safety assessment, not only for Seniors, but for any home. Resources for furthering your research and training are also included in many of the modules. The team at Age Safe America, clearly have a passion for leading the development of Senior Safety Advocates that will be in demand, as many Seniors continue to elect to stay in their homes as long as feasible and safe.” –Bruce Wilson Founder Senior SafeGuard
“This course was very thorough with minimal redundancy. Having been a COTA for 30+ years, there were some things I hadn’t even thought of or was aware of. Thank You ASA for increasing my knowledge and awareness of safety options!” –Kathleen Hulme, COTA
“The course was very informative – what you think may be common sense, but there is much more to becoming a Home Safety Specialist. I am elated I took this course. I feel I will be doing more justice to my elderly community and to myself. Thank you Steven for our chat! I cannot wait to get started in helping seniors live SAFE! Excellent!” – Trish Wilcher, Time on a Dime Errand Service
“What a wonderful course and group training event for our staff and with so many beneficial take-a-ways! We especially liked Communicating with Older Adults and Family Members and Fire Safety. This will add to our ability to educate clients and their family members on the serious issues of fall prevention, financial scams and personal safety. The course content definitely met our expectations, and I would recommend it to other professionals in this field.” – Anna Lattuca, Evergreen Senior Living
“The Age Safe America course was super beneficial for my role in home health care and I found it very informative and thorough! The course covered a lot of topics that come up frequently during my in-home assessment including Alzheimer’s and Dementia communication, home safety ideas, fire safety, scams and fraud, safety around the house including the info on grab bars, stair safety, lighting, etc. Very often I have clients ask me questions about how they should better set up their homes to make sure they are safe so this was really helpful!” –Katelyn Tselios, Client Care Coordinator for Visiting Angels
“This Senior Home Safety Specialist course is a comprehensive online course that is supported with information to assist professionals as they work with consumers to make safety modifications to their homes. I would recommend this course to Occupational Therapists, Builders, Remodelers, Home Inspectors, and anyone who advises on home safety. Safety is a prime consideration in a home, regardless of the ages of the occupants. The course has ample photos to support the content that show examples of safe conditions and products that can enhance safety. The modules are organized into topics making it easy to take a break while taking the online course and return to finish the next modules at a convenient time.” – Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., Author of the Universal Design Toolkit
“The Senior Home Safety Specialist course was everything I have come to expect from a company that is in the forefront of senior advocacy like Age Safe America. As a new senior home safety advisor, the information contained in the course has armed me with a solid grasp of what I need to effectively aid my clients with fall prevention and independent living. Fritzi Gros-Daillon is extremely knowledgeable. There were points that she brought out that I never even considered. The information on dementia and Alzheimer’s needs is outstanding. Great job Age Safe America.” – Rhonda Smith SafeHome Senior Solutions
“Excellent information that filled in some gaps for me and my knowledge base. I especially appreciated the emphasis put on the fire safety and senior scams/identity theft. Would recommend to others without hesitation!” – Claire Mayfield, OT, CAPS Owner TrueNorth Home Safety
“As an Occupational Therapist, and well versed in home safety, I found this course to be very relevant, up to date and well organized. I appreciated the statistics and references by the national aging organizations. I would recommend this Senior Home Safety Specialist course to anyone in the senior industry who wants to help our seniors age safely at home”. – Alan Prince, OTR/L, CAPS Owner of Rebuild for Life
Great course! Well organized and very informative. I’ve been carrying out home assessments almost everyday for 8 years and still learned a lot from this course. I believe comprehensive home safety assessments and home modifications are mandatory for anyone planning to age in place safely and comfortably! – Marcelo Carmen, Jr., Occupational Therapist, Community Based Rehabilitation
“As a senior center professional and administrator of our Minor Home Repair programs the additional information will help me do my job better. I see our program offering several more classes on home safety based on what I learned. Thank you!” – Karen S Adcock, SDC Director of Senior Services, City of Auburn Hills, MI
“The course content and statistical information provided throughout the course are very current and will enhance any individual or organization providing services and products to the senior demographic. An excellent approach to identifying the greater picture of challenges facing North America. The course modules provide educational content that will help train professionals, caregivers and service providers seeking knowledge to educate themselves and/or their organizations to better support our aging population. The course highlights a path forward for those who will make a difference in the Aging in Place markets. Highly recommend this course for anyone who is making in-home safety recommendations or providing home alteration and modifications for our seniors”. – Peter Hache, President Renos4Seniors Ottawa, ON Canada
“Presenter and materials were excellent. She is very well spoken, respectful, patient and most knowledgeable. As a volunteer with the Saluda Living In Place (SLIP) program, I now feel more confident to serve as best I am able to help ALL persons, ‘of age’ or younger, to be safe and live long, healthy lives, in the place of their choice”. – Frank McNutt, Non-Profit Volunteer
“I found the information regarding appropriate electrical outlets to be helpful. I do like the inclusion of helpful solutions, especially technology related solutions, to offer safety modifications to our clients – more of that type of information would always be appreciated”. Yes, I would recommend this course to other professionals. – Dr. Linda Frasier, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Touro University Nevada
“I was blown away by the extent of the content in this course! I am a Registered Nurse that has incorporated my nursing knowledge into senior estate downsizing and hoarding property cleanouts, often dealing with overlapping medical issues of my clients. My approach of holistic healing to improve quality of life through decluttering, home safety and education of my clients was greatly enhanced by the thoroughness of this course! I cannot wait to pass along this information to my clients and their families”. – Shelly Galland, RN and Home Organization Consultant
“Excellent course. It seems to be very comprehensive in highlighting potential dangers in the home. I am looking forward to starting to practice this in the field and see for myself, hands on, the specific relevance of these important points. I live in Israel, so it will be important for me to see how this relates to the style, culture, and general home standards in this country. Currently I am a handyman installing grab bars on a volunteer basis for a local charity organization. I have found I enjoy working with elderly people – it gives a good feeling of satisfaction. Thank you”. – Yitzchak Friedman, Former Hi-Tech Engineer building a Home Safety business.
“I found the information to be very useful. It was presented in a way that was straight forward and easy to follow along. Each section was first defined as to the topic/area being covered and then presented step by step with a basic explanation of each key point. The presenters voice was enjoyable to listen too. Her pace was perfect, although I did stop many times to take useful notes.” – Relissa Stute, Senior Safety Advisor
“The course is interesting and thought provoking, better than I expected. Yes, I would recommend this course to other professionals.” – Elodio Medina, Housing Rehab Specialist
“We owned and operated a 100 bed assisted living facility in Arizona, most of our clients came to us due to a fall, and usually heartbroken that they had to leave their homes. Most of them believed that they would one day return home, there were only a few. We feel so excited to help our community to stay home safely where they want to be. Such a wonderful course, and it was easy to understand, and very comprehensive. I wish I had found Age Safe America years ago”. – Caroline Wilford, It’s So Good to be Home, Inc.
Much of the coursework is universal and has been taken by professionals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Europe and the Middle East.
Age SafeAmerica is a national membership, training and advocacy organization dedicated to meet the growing need for Home Safety Assessments and Aging-in-Place Home Modifications. The company is directed by nationally recognized experts in fall prevention, home safety, aging-in-place, universal design, home modifications, environmental assessment, and marketing to seniors and aging boomers. We provide training, consulting, certifications, product reviews, tools, resources and support to businesses and organizations providing products and services to seniors and their adult children.
Age SafeAmerica is committed to home safety and accessibility to help older adults improve their odds for having an independent and productive life. Age Safe America offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course to individuals currently serving seniors, that includes education for home safety, fall prevention, fire safety, home modifications and crime prevention. The goal of Age Safe America is to help older adults and their families enjoy the comfort, freedom and independence to “age safe at home.”