Given that the average life expectancy in the United States is higher now than it was just a few years ago and that almost one out of every three senior citizens who do not reside in a long-term care facility or hospital live alone, it only makes sense that many elderly persons have unique safety needs. That becomes even more obvious when you understand that the Center for Disease Control has estimated that about 16% of senior citizens suffer from a vision loss and one out of four elderly individuals have some degree of impaired vision. Therefore, if you are assisting one or both of your parents to choose new fire alarm systems for their home, it is a good idea to be aware of the following advice.
#1-Place Extra Units Through The Home
While it is often common practice to have a fire alarm in the kitchen and near sleeping areas, it is often a better idea for older persons to have more of them throughout the home, especially if the home is large. For instance, their presence in a living or dining room can alert your parents if a lit cigarette has been left unattended and extra units in every hallway can be very helpful if an electrical issue has caused a few sparks.
It will also behoove your parents to have a fire alarm in the laundry room since 4.5% of home fires in 2010 started as the result of issues with the washer or dryer.
#2-Choose A System With Interconnected Fire Alarms
If your parent has a hearing loss at the time of the fire, it could easily take quite a while for them to hear the sound of a fire alarm going off in another section of the home, especially if the flames occurred when they were asleep. Therefore, the use of a system that features connected alarms is a particularly safe option, since all of the alarms will go off if one does. As a result, your parent may be more likely to be able to get out of the house quickly if a fire breaks out.
#3-Consider A Unit With Flashing Lights Or A Smart Fire Alarm
Although there are smoke alarms that feature flashing lights to alert deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals of a fire, it is still a good option if your parents are not very tech-savvy. Alternatively, it could also serve as a back-up for a smart fire alarm, which may present with unique features like texting or calling an approved person when a fire has been detected.
In conclusion, if you are choosing an appropriate fire alarm system for one or both of your parents, it's essential to be familiar with the above tips. As part of that, it will be helpful to consider that even if neither of your parents has a hearing or vision deficit at this time, it is best to choose a unit that meets those needs since so many people develop those issues as they age.