Reaching out to older adults during Fire Prevention Week (FPW) is extremely crucial. I previously blogged about the importance of fire sprinklers in all new homes and the importance of including the fire sprinkler message in your FPW activities, and throughout the year. I want to share important facts about aging in place and the reasons why fire sprinkler protection is so important.
According to the Aging in Place Initiative, based on the Aging in America Report, only 46 percent of American communities have planned to “address the needs of the exploding population of aging Baby Boomers.” They tell us that “when this trend hits its peak in 2030, the number of people over age 65 in the United States will soar to 71.5 million – twice their number in the year 2000- or one in every five Americans.”
Statistics reveal that older adults over 65 are at high risk of home fire death. According to the State of Aging and Health in America Report by the Center for Disease Control, over 33% of the over 65 year old population is disabled. When you add aging and disability together, the risk of home fire death increases exponentially for this group. The homes built today are expected to last at least fifty years. Unless home fire sprinklers are installed to protect the homes of these seniors as they “age in place” we can expect that death in the home will increase along with this group’s expected population increase. The installation of home fire sprinklers in all new homes is critical so that this growing population will be protected.
It is essential to reach out to this group with the fire sprinkler message. A great way to do this is to hold special activities for them. Visit this section of the FPW website to learn how to hold open houses for older adults. Get creative and share your own ideas about how you plan to reach out to older adults with the home fire sprinkler message during FPW.