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Area Agency on Aging 8
Fax: 740-373-1594
P.O. 370 Reno, Ohio 45773

Disaster Preparedness

Fire Prevention


Safe & Sound:
Fire Prevention and Preparation for Seniors

For several years now, there has been a concerted effort in Ohio to protect our older residents from accidental falls because they disproportionately affect our elders and can lead to hospitalization or death. There's another serious risk for older Ohioans that affects them more that the rest of the population, and that's death in a fire. While older Ohioans make up about 14 percent of our population, they account for more than 39 percent of fire-related fatalities.

And, like falls, fire-related deaths can be prevented.

The Department of Aging is proud to partner with the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal, local fire departments, the Ohio Department of Development Services, the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing, the American Red Cross and others on a campaign this fall and winter called Safe & Sound, designed to educate all Ohioans, and especially our elders, on how to prevent and prepare for fires, especially those caused by heating sources during the winter months.

Safe & Sound has two main points. "Safe" reminds us to take safety measures such as following manufacturer's instructions on heating and electrical equipment, keeping flammable items away from heat sources and checking your home for fire risks. "Sound" represents the phrase "sound the alarm" and reminds us to have working smoke detectors in our homes and a plan to escape in the event of a fire.

Here are some tips from the Safe & Sound campaign to prepare for a fire and help prevent one from starting:

Smoke Alarms

  • Install a smoke alarm on each level of the home and inside and outside each bedroom.
  • Check smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms after 10 years.
  • Caregivers should check alarms for those who are unable to safely do it themselves.



Fire Escape Plans

  • Make an escape plan for the home and know two ways out. Include any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to family members, the building manager or neighbors about your fire escape plan and practice it with them.
  • If possible, relocate bedrooms to the first floor, near an exit.

Heating Safety

Download a Fact Sheet

  • Never smoke in bed or near an open oxygen source, gas stove or other object.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Plug heaters directly into the wall.
  • Choose a space heater that has been tested and certified to the latest safety standards.
  • Use only the correct fuel in kerosene heaters; Never refill a heater while it's hot and only refill heaters outdoors.
  • Keep flammable objects (including blankets) at least three feet from any heat source.
  • Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home.
  • Inspect chimneys and furnaces once a year.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Turn heaters off when you leave a room, and never leave fireplace and stove fires unattended.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area.


Other tips

  • Never leave the kitchen stove and oven unattended.
  • Keep lit candles away from objects that can burn and away from walkways and places where they can be knocked over. Never leave a candle burning unattended.
  • Do not use an electrical appliance that is not working correctly. Unplug and replace or repair it.
  • If the power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances that generate heat (e.g., heaters, stoves and hair dryers).

You can find more tips on the State Fire Marshal's website. http://www.com.ohio.gov/fire/


Copyright © 2017 Area Agency on Aging District 8
A Program of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District