Are you prepared for fire season?

It’s fire season again in California, and we want to urge all of our members to go over their safety plans with their clients and families to make sure we all stay safe and secure. As you know, hundreds of our members in Butte County were evacuated from their homes last November during the Camp Fire. Many of them lost everything. And, as caregivers, it is especially sad for us to see that most of the 85 people who died in the Camp Fire were seniors. In fact, people over the age of 65 are at the greatest risk of dying in a fire.

There are fire safety rules for everyone you can find at www.readyforwildfire.org. But there are special things that caregivers can do to ensure our clients stay safe, especially our older clients:

  • If you don’t live with your client, check and test their smoke alarms for them twice a year
  • Make sure you and your client know who will assist them if they need to be evacuated
  • Develop a fire escape plan around your client’s capabilities
  • Make sure exits are wide enough for a walker or wheelchair to get through, if your client uses them
  • Practice evacuating when your client is calm
  • Make sure your client keeps their eyeglasses, hearing aids, medications, phone and keys in a convenient place when they sleep in case of a night evacuation.

It’s also important to remember that, because many deadly fires have been sparked by power lines, California power companies are now going to shut off power when the fire danger is very high. Identify backup charging methods for your phones and keep a written copy of emergency numbers and information. Stay safe!

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