Safety for seniors

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

Staff Report

To reduce the incidents of safety

hazards that most often impact the elderly, Suffolk’s emergency response officials are taking a proactive approach.

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Department of Fire and Rescue has joined forces with the Virginia Department of Health in offering a new program that will not only educate senior citizens, but provide life saving products for their home.

Under the &uot;Home Safer Home&uot;

program, the Department of Fire and Rescue will provide Suffolk seniors with home visits to check for possible fire and fall hazards and donate free smoke detectors (audible and visual), carbon monoxide detectors, oven mitts, nights lights, and bath mats.

&uot;Our goal,&uot; said Fire and Life Safety Specialist Pam King, &uot;is to reduce the risk of fire and fall injuries among

people age 60 and older.&uot;

King pointed out that the National Fire Protection Association statistics show that each year many older adults die or experience permanent disability as the result of a home fire or fall.

At age 65, they are twice as likely to be killed or injured by falls or fires, compared to the population at large.

By age 75 that risk increases to three times that of the general population and four times at age 85.

In addition to home visits the Fire Prevention Bureau is available to speak at any senior group or club meeting.

To arrange for a free &uot;Home Safer Home&uot; visit or to schedule a talk for a club or group meeting, call 923-4787.