Seniors! fire is “fast, hot, dark, and deadly” - have you checked your smoke alarms LATELY?

Most senior citizens will eventually ask themselves these very questions, “what happens if a fire breaks out in my home? How will I get out?” “Do my smoke alarms even work?”

“Each year in the United States, about three of every four fire-related deaths and injuries occur because of home fires. Seniors are at particularly high risk for injury and death from residential fires. In fact, people over 65 years of age are three times more likely to die in a residential fire as people younger than 65. Having physical or mental impairments, using chemical substances such as medicines and alcohol, and living with smokers or in substandard housing, are some of the risk factors that make older adults more vulnerable to fire injury and death.” (Fire Safe)

“A day after a huge fire forced dozens of seniors out of their homes near the Washington Navy Yard, fire officials are investigating whether fire alarms in the building worked properly. Multiple residents of the Arthur Capper Senior Apartments said they heard no alarms after a powerful fire broke out — injuring 10 people and sending a huge plume of black smoke into the air. Residents were alerted by U.S. Marines and neighbors who banged on their doors instead of the units’ fire alarms.” (Andrea Swalec)

Know This:

Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.

  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.

  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.

  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Smoke Alarm Tips:

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.

  • Test batteries monthly.

  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.

  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.

Considerations For Seniors Before A House Fire Occurs:

Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.

  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.

  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.

  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.

  • Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.

  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs. (

At No Place Like Home Remodeling, we often look at the facts, we understand that checking your smoke alarms or proper exit ways in case of a fire can be, well, not ‘high’ on the priority list. But like most crucial things in life, it’s all about the smallest of details. ‘Wishful thinking’ is a fast way to get caught-up in some of the above scenarios.

Got questions? We got answers — we’re here to help you in anyway we can — because that’s what we do and that’s who we are —

Do you need help creating a prevention plan — properly assessing your home for potential hazards? Do you need help creating an exit strategy in case of a fire? We would love nothing more than to sit down and work out a plan that’s right for you and your family.

At No Place Like Home Remodeling, our Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, can and will construct a plan that’s right for you! Leave a comment below with any questions or fill out the Contact Us form for a free consultation! We look forward to working with you!