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Older adults—those over 65 years of age—represent one of the highest fire risk groups
in the United States, in large part because they are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.
Of course, many older adults may also fall into the other three groups since the elderly suffer
some or all of these impairments to a much greater degree than do the general population.
People who are deaf or have hearing impairments, those who are blind or have vision impairments,
and those with mobility impairments may face unique challenges in an emergency. Their
ability to detect a fire or escape its effects may be hindered by their impairments. As a result,
people with these impairments are at a greater risk of death or injury due to fire.
As might be expected, many of the fire safety issues are of concern for all four groups.
This commonality is reflected in the reports, particularly in the fire safety tips, most of which apply
to all the groups. These safety tips are presented in an appendix at the end of each report, organized
in three sections: before the fire, during the fire, and fire prevention.
The tips that are common to all four groups are summarized here:
Before the Fire
· Identify the nearest fire exit
· Install smoke alarms
· Live near an exit
· Plan and practice escape plans
· Involve the fire department
During the Fire
· Get out and stay out
· Test doors before opening them
· Stay low and go
· What to do if you are trapped
· Stop, drop, and roll
· Electrical safety
· Space heaters
See the following for a complete report on this important issue.