It is important for older consumers to understand and take precautions against the risks associated with consumer products and activities performed during their daily lives. Hundreds of thousands of seniors age 65 and older are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year due to injuries associated with consumer products. Falls are the leading cause of both deaths and injuries in this age group. Fires are another top cause of deaths among seniors.
Although many injuries to seniors result from hazards that are easy to overlook, there is an easy fix. By spotting hazards and taking simple steps to correct them, you can prevent injuries to yourself or visitors to your home.
To prevent falls:
Make sure stairs and other areas in the home are well lighted.
Install handrails, and remove tripping hazards, like area rugs.
To address the risk of fires:
Use carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every floor of the home.
Install a carbon monoxide alarm outside of sleeping areas.
Carefully use and maintain space heaters, fireplaces and all fuel-burning appliances.
Watch CPSC’s latest PSA: Sound the Alarm: Senior Clothing Fire Prevention Tips
CPSC Safety Alerts and Neighborhood Safety Network posters are not available to order. If you would like to use these safety publications, they are free to download and print.
Deck the halls safely this year. Dried out trees, holiday candles left unattended and old, worn or defective holiday lightscan spark fires.
Prevent dryer fires by cleaning the dryer vent, exhaust duct and lint screen/filter periodically.
Check your appliances' gas connectors. Some older brass connectors for appliances can come apart, causing fires, explosions, death and injuries.
Have a kerosene heater? Make sure to use only water-clear 1-K grade kerosene. Never use gasoline.
Don’t get burned. Flammable liquid vapors are invisible, explosive and unpredictable.
Make sure to install smoke alarms in your home. Why? Because they can save your life. Which type of alarm? Both types -- ionization and photoelectric. And don't forget to develop and practice a family escape plan.
Don’t underestimate the value of smoke alarms. When it comes to a fire, your life may depend on them.
Smoke alarms save lives. They can detect a fire early, and alert consumers, giving them valuable time to escape.
Develop good habits for using portable electric heaters to prevent a fire in your home.
When you change the time on your clocks in the spring and fall, remember to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
Unattended cooking is the top cause of fires in the home. Stand by your pan whenever you are frying, grilling or broiling food.