With the elderly community expected to grow to one in five Americans by the year 2050, Kentucky’s electric cooperatives are looking to decrease the deaths in those 64 and older due to electrical dangers. The U.S. Fire Administration statistics note that approximately 1,000 seniors die each year in fires.
“Our older members are especially vulnerable when they’re cooking or if they aren’t using auxiliary heaters correctly,” says Chris Perry, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives.
A number of factors increase their risk for danger, including slower reflexes, which may also be impacted by medication, thinner skin and other health issues.
“One of the easiest ways to improve your chances of surviving a fire is to make sure the smoke alarm in your home is working,” Perry says. “Change the alarm’s batteries twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall.”
Some other quick tips to remember are never leave pots and pans unattended to avoid creating a fire hazard, and never open the oven door if something catches on fire. If the fire does not go down on its own, leave the house and call 911. When handling electrical cords, they shouldn’t be secured on walls or floors with nails, staples or tacks because it could risk damaging the cords. Following these at-home tips can decrease electrical dangers.