Fire Risks for Older Adults

Older adults represent one of the highest fire risk populations in the United States. The facts speak for themselves: Americans over the age of 65 are one of the groups at greatest risk of dying in a fire. Every year over 1,200 Americans over age 65 die in fires. People over the age of 80 die in fires at a rate three times higher than the rest of the population.

As a result of progressive degeneration in physical, cognitive, and emotional capabilities, older adults present unique challenges in the fields of fire protection, prevention, and safety. Complications associated with aging increase the likelihood that an elderly person will accidentally start a fire and at the same time reduce his or her chances of surviving it. As the nation's elderly population grows, the fire death toll will likely rise in direct proportion to that growth unless measures are taken to ameliorate the risks associated with this group. The fire safety community must address the fire safety needs of older adults or be faced with the potential for a severe public health problem.

There are a number of precautionary steps older Americans can take to dramatically reduce their chances of becoming a fire casualty.

The Fire Problem and Older Adults

What Fire Hazards Affect Older People? Fire Risks Safety Tips for Older Americans Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.