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8 Tips for Reducing the Risk of Burn Injuries

Posted by David Ghiorso, CPA, July 3, 2019

Did you know that retirees are more prone to injuries at home? And because aging slows the rate at which we heal, even a minor injury can become more serious for those over 60.

Burns are the second leading cause of death from home injuries, and can result from cooking incidents or accidental fires. You can lower the odds of starting a fire, as well as serious injury from burns, by following these safety tips.

  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home
  • Set your water heater to a lower temperature (110-120 degrees is recommended)
  • Keep all rooms properly lit, to prevent accidents of all types
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen
  • Don’t use items like candles, or other open flames, in the home
  • Don’t smoke indoors
  • Simplify your food preparation, so that you can avoid cooking as much as possible
  • Plan an escape route, in the event a fire does occur

Later in retirement, you might want to consider in-home services such as an assistant to help with meal preparation and other chores around the house. Meal delivery is another popular option for retirees; you’re now free from cooking chores, and you’ve reduced the risk of one of the major causes of house fires. Requesting an annual fire safety inspection could be another smart step, that helps you maintain your independence while staying at home.

If you develop a condition called peripheral neuropathy, a condition that affects how you feel pain, you might be at increased risk of serious burns. This condition can develop secondary to many types of injury, diabetes, cancer, infections, and other situations. Since it will affect your response time to potential burns, this increases the likelihood of a more severe injury. Talk to your doctor if you develop peripheral neuropathy later in life, and he or she can make more suggestions to help you avoid serious burns.

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