09/16/2009: "Fire Facts For People 50-Plus"
By Bob Low
Each year, approximately 1,100 Americans ages 65 and older die as a result of a home fire. Compared to the rest of the U. S. population, people between 65 and 74 are nearly twice as likely to die in a fire, and those between 75 and 84?
They are nearly four times as likely to die in a fire.
And if you are over 85, the trend continues, and you are more than five times as likely to die in a fire.
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths and the second leading cause of injuries among people ages 65 and older. Cigarettes when not properly extinguished continue to burn.
When a resting cigarette is accidentally knocked over, it can smolder for hours before a flare-up occurs. Before you light your next cigarette, remember the following:
• Never smoke in bed.
• Put your cigarette or cigar out at the first sign of feeling drowsy while watching television or reading.
• Use deep ashtrays and put your cigarettes all the way out.
• Don’t walk away from lit cigarettes and other smoking materials.
Sitting in your favorite chair and having a cigarette after dinner seems to some like a great way to relax -but cigarettes and relaxing can be a deadly mix. Falling asleep while smoking can ignite clothing, rugs and other materials used in upholstered furniture. Using alcohol and medications that make you sleepy compound this hazard.