Burton Firefighters ask Citizens to “Check their Seniors”

2 mins read
Senior citizens, often on very limited and fixed incomes, find alternative and unsafe ways to heat their homes during the winter months.

With the colder months settling upon Beaufort County, Burton fire officials are asking citizens to take some time these next few weeks to check on senior citizens in the community to ensure their safety and the heating of their homes. The Burton Fire District provides both basic and advanced life support emergency services. As medical professionals they often work with senior citizens and understand the dangerous situations many face this time of year.

Senior citizens, often on limited and fixed incomes, may find alternative and unsafe ways to power and heat their homes during the winter months. Many are on medications that limit their ability to respond and react to emergencies or change batteries in smoke alarms. Age has also decreased their ability to regulate their own body temperatures. Burton fire officials say this is a perfect storm for tragedy. 

So with temperatures dropping, Burton fire officials are asking citizens to also drop in on their seniors to ensure they are living in a safe environment. Burton fire officials offer some tips to look for:  

  • Portable heaters should be plugged directly into outlets or power strips with breakers 
  • “If it has heat, three feet.” Heaters should be three feet from combustibles, such as arm chairs, bedding, and drapes, and heaters should not block exits from the home 
  • Smoke alarms should be less than 10 years old and located inside and outside the bedrooms 
  • Fuel kerosene heaters outdoors 
  • Ensure portable heaters are used appropriately, and those for use on hardwood floors are not placed on carpets 
  • “Candle with care.” Preferably use electric candles. Limit flame candles to only occupied rooms. Candle flames generate heat, so keep three feet between candles and combustibles

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