Older adults have an increased risk of dying in a fire. Help prevent older adult fire deaths in your community with these safety tips!


Older adults face the greatest relative risk of dying in a fire. In 2014, older adults:

  • Represented 14 percent of the United States population but suffered 38 percent of all fire deaths.
  • Had a 2.6 times greater risk of dying in a fire than the total population.
  • Ages 85 and over were 4.1 times more likely to die in a fire than the total population.

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Fire Safety Checklist

Make sure each statement is true for your home!
Smoke Alarms
  • Smoke alarms are on every level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms are inside and outside sleeping areas.
  • Smoke alarms are tested each month.
  • Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed.
  • Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.
  • People can hear smoke alarms from any room.
Cooking Safety
  • The cooking area has no items that can burn.
  • People stay in the kitchen when they are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
Smoking Safety
  • People only smoke outside and never in bed.
  • People put cigarettes out safely in an ashtray with a wide base that will not tip over.
  • People never smoke around medical oxygen.
Heating Safety
  • Space heaters are least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • People blow out candles before leaving the room.
Escape Plan
  • There is a fire escape plan that shows 2 ways out of every room.
  • Exits are always clear and not blocked with furniture or other items.
  • Everyone knows where the safe meeting place is outside the home.
  • The escape plan works for everyone, including people who use a wheelchair, a hearing aid, or glasses.
  • There is a phone near the bed to call a local emergency number in case of a fire.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
  • Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
  • No electrical cords run under rugs.
  • All electrical cords are in good condition and not broken or cut.
  • People clean the dryer of lint after every use.
  • All plug outlets are safe and do not feel warm when
    you touch them. (If they are warm, call the landlord
    or an electrician.)

Quick Tips on Older Adult Fire Safety

Here are some helpful graphics about your home fire escape plan. Click the image to enlarge. We encourage you to print these and also share on social media.

Source for Content: United States Fire Administration