(NAPSI)—If you or someone you care about is among the approximately 47 million Americans over 65—or hopes to be someday—there could be good news for you.

Many older Americans may live longer, safer lives thanks to recent research indicating that elderly adults have the greatest risk of fire death and the subsequent grant awarded to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). This prestigious Fire Prevention & Safety Grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to support fire prevention and safety efforts, prioritizing programs aimed at high-risk populations. The ESFI is a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting the importance of electrical safety.

With funding from the grant, ESFI developed a new older adult safety campaign consisting of video and radio public service announcements, infographics and brochures. This multifaceted home fire safety awareness program will equip at-risk older adults and their communities with knowledge to help prevent the leading causes of home fires: cooking equipment, heating equipment and electrical equipment.

For example, it advises everyone, especially older adults, to have both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Place the alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home. Don’t put alarms near windows or ducts, where drafts might interfere with their effectiveness, and keep them at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances to minimize false alarms. Test the devices at least once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Replace the device every 10 years. If you have difficulty hearing, you can get alarms that give off low-pitched sounds or vibrations.

ESFI will distribute additional materials through Community Action Agencies (CAAs) as well as various Rebuilding Together affiliates to reach older adults in places with the highest rates of fire deaths.

“Raising awareness among the most at-risk populations is crucial to preventing home fires, fire deaths and related injuries,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “This year, we’re working with CAAs that work directly with these populations to ensure that we educate even the hardest-to-reach groups and decrease their vulnerability to home fires.”

This is the sixth year that ESFI has received the grant. In the past, ESFI used the funds to directly affect more than 3.4 million children and their families by distributing classroom toolkits that were mailed to schools and given to ESFI’s nationwide network of safety advocates.

ESFI engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to increase awareness of the steps that can be taken to prevent electrical fires, injuries and fatalities in the home, school and workplace.

Learn More

To explore the resources created by this grant, and for further facts and tips about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.

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