Community Blog

Basic in-home Protections for Your Loved One

By Erin Carll

Elder Care in Wexford PA

Basic in-home Protections for Your Loved OneThere are many ways in which you can help provide in-home protection for your aging parent or other loved one. Non-slip rugs, keeping electrical cords out of the way, and installing grab bars in the bathroom are some of the more common ones. But there are also a few things that should be in every home, and certainly that of the elderly person you’re caring for.

Smoke Detectors
Many states or cities require that every single residence—home, apartment, or other type of personal dwelling—have an operating smoke detector on every floor. But even if they’re not required where your loved one lives, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have that basic protection.

In a fire your loved one needs ample time to get out, especially if their mobility isn’t what it used to be or they use a wheelchair, walker or cane. According to the National Fire Protection Association, having a working smoke detector cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke detectors, either in place or working.

Smoke detectors can be battery operated, hardwired into a home’s electrical system, or a combination of both. Detectors should be tested and, if using batteries, change them twice a year.

Fire Extinguishers
It’s not a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher in your loved one’s home. It only takes a second for something on the stove to turn into a small fire. Different kinds of fires need to be put out with different things, and in the moment a fire breaks out, it’s often difficult to remember if you should use water, baking soda, or salt. Having an all-purpose fire extinguisher right there and making sure your loved one knows how to use it will help get the fire under control faster and doesn’t require them to think about the kind of fire it is and what they need to try putting it out.

It’s smart to have fire extinguishers inspected and recharged once per year, whether it’s been used or not.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Many places also require carbon monoxide detectors in residential dwellings. Even if not required, this is a smart safety feature to have in your loved one’s home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, odorless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of fuels from a variety of products, including anything using natural gas, propane, coal, wood, charcoal, oil and kerosene.

The United States Consumer Protection Safety Commission says an average of 170 people die in the U.S. every year from accidental CO poisoning. Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. That makes having a CO detector in your loved one’s home extremely important.

CO detectors are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. There are also combination smoke/CO detectors on the market. They should be tested, and have batteries replaced twice a year.

Sources: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/fire-and-safety-equipment/smoke-alarms
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Carbon-Monoxide-Information-Center/Carbon-Monoxide-Questions-and-Answers-

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home elder care in Wexford, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers.​ Call today (412) 201-0712.