HomeSpark Home Care Blog


Fire Safety Tips for Caregivers

As a caregiver for an aging family member, you already have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to keeping your loved one safe. Something you should add to your list of priorities is fire safety. No one wants to imagine an aging family member in an emergency, but being prepared for one will provide peace of mind for you and everyone in your family.

Every year, more than 1,200 American adults over the age of 65 die as a result of a fire. Adults ages 85 and older have the highest risk of dying or being injured in a fire compared to the general population. 

Why Is Fire Safety Important for Caregivers? 

As a caregiver, it’s crucial to be aware of these statistics so that you can put safety measures in place. Many aging adults experience a lack of mobility, difficulty hearing, impaired vision, confusion, or drowsiness as a side effect of the medication they are taking, making it more difficult to respond to an emergency. This can make the threat of fire particularly dangerous for someone in your care. 

Fortunately, there are preventative steps you can take to keep your loved one in in-home care safe. Below we have outlined fire safety tips for caregivers and what to do in the event of a fire.

Check Your Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms can alert you to a fire before you smell or see smoke, giving you and your loved one more time to exit the home and cutting your risk of dying in a home fire in half.  

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your loved one’s home, and you should test them monthly to make sure they are working properly. 

If you are caring for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, opt for an alarm system that uses special aid devices such as flashing lights.

Be Cautious with Medical Oxygen

Medical oxygen used at home increases the risk of a fire starting. Make sure that everyone is aware that they cannot smoke in the home or use an open flame such as a candle, lighter, or fireplace. 

Practice Kitchen Safety

The leading cause of residential fires is cooking. You can keep yourself and your loved one safe by wearing close-fitting clothing and keeping anything flammable away from the stovetop. If you are frying or grilling a meal, stay in the room with it or turn off the stove. If you are baking something for a longer period of time, set a timer to remind you to check it regularly. 

Consider keeping a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink, but remember that your first priority in the event of a fire should be to make sure everyone exits safely and that you call 911 before attempting to put out the fire yourself. 

Practice Electrical Safety

Routinely check the electrical safety of your loved one’s home, looking out for overloaded extension cords, missing outlet covers, frayed wires, and light switches that feel hot to the touch. 

Electrical safety is especially important if your loved one lives in an older home with outdated wiring. A licensed electrician can check the safety of the home’s electrical system and make further recommendations to keep the home safe from fire.

Plan Your Exit Route

Start by having an open and honest conversation with your loved one about the importance of having a fire safety protocol, determine a plan of action in case an emergency should occur, and practice the exit routine with your loved one.

Establish two exits from every room in the house, and make sure all windows and doors can be easily opened. Remove any tripping hazards, such as rugs and clutter, and establish a meeting place outside of the house where family members will go once they are safely out of the home. It’s important to plan a realistic escape route based on your loved one’s abilities and to practice the routine twice a year.

Keep Your Loved One Safe 

You can prepare yourself and your loved one for a fire emergency by using FEMA’s fire safety checklist and by downloading HomeSpark’s Home Safety Assessment
At HomeSpark, your loved one’s safety is our top priority. We understand the unique challenges and responsibilities that come with caregiving. If you are considering non-medical in-home care for a loved one, our professional caregivers can create a custom care plan to meet their needs. Learn more about our services and request a consultation today.



At HomeSpark, We Care for People

If you or your loved one is in need of non-medical home care services, contact HomeSpark today for a consultation. We will help you develop a personal care plan tailored around your individual needs.