The Winchester Fire and Rescue Department’s (WFRD) Community Risk Reduction Division will begin offering in-home life safety assessments and group presentations this month. The team will follow the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults guide that seeks to solve two problems common for seniors – fires and falls.
“One of the main purposes of the Community Risk Reduction Division is to prevent common incidents that require emergency medical or fire suppression services,” stated Deputy Chief Jeremy Luttrell, who leads the division. “Winchester has a growing and vibrant senior population. It’s important that we reach this group and help them to prevent falls and accidents that require extensive medical care, as well as reduce the risk of fire and related injuries that have a statistically greater effect on older people.”
According to the NFPA, adults at age 65 are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fire compared to the general population; at age 75, they are three times as likely, and at age 85 are four times as likely. People 65 and older are also at increased risk of falls (making up 30% of all falls each year) which can lead to loss of mobility or even be fatal.
To address this, members of the Community Risk Reduction Division will offer in-home life safety assessments and group presentations. During and in-home assessment, the team will go through a checklist and identify areas in the home that serve as potential threats – such as misplaced throw rugs, cords, and other trip hazards - and help senior homeowners find solutions. More information on the free assessments can be found on the WFRD’s Remembering When™ and Elder Care webpage.
Senior living facilities and organizations are encouraged to reach out to the WFRD to schedule group presentations for residents and members. If you or someone you know needs an in-home life safety assessment, please contact the WFRD at email@example.com or call 540-662-2298.