When Being a “Frequent Flyer” Isn’t a Good Thing: Reducing Falls Among Older Adults

By Fire Safety, NFPA

As approximately 95% of older adults live independently in their own homes, helping aging adults navigate daily activities such as cooking, bathing, and moving through their home without incident is essential to maintaining their independence. Falls send an average of one of every 17 people who was at least 65 to the emergency department per year in the U.S.  Many firefighters see more fall victims than fire victims, often called to help someone who has fallen get back into their bed or chair.   In 2016 and 2017, local US fire departments went to more “assist invalid” incidents than to structure fires, with many of these incidents caused by falls.   The data are similar in Canada with falls being the most common injury among those aged 65+ and being the leading cause of hospitalization. With increasing calls to EMS for fall-related incidents (for both the first fall and repeated falls), the fire service is in a unique position to work with community partners for prevention.NFPA’s pairs fire service with community partners to support improved health outcomes of this population and reduce strain on fire service resources for non-emergency lift assist calls.  Falls prevention among older adults is just one of the expert-developed educational sessions at the 2020, taking place Tuesday, October 27th from 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM EST.  This fully virtual and free professional development lets you learn from the successes and challenges experienced by your peers in the world of prevention and risk reduction.   Falls Prevention workshop presenter Dori Krahn, Community Relations Coordinator for the Saskatoon, Canada Fire Department offers the benefits of the fire and falls prevention efforts to her population,
Fire and falls are a great combination – fire safety gets us the group presentation and once there, participants are often surprised by how much they learned about fall prevention. Conversely, fall prevention gets us into people’s homes and once we are there, they are surprised that their smoke alarms haven’t just automatically taken care of themselves and their fire escape plans can’t be left to intuition.”
to take part in NFPA’s first ever fully virtual Spotlight on Public Education featuring four timely topics facing public educators:  Hoarding, Falls Prevention, Community Risk Assessment, and Integrating Technology into Education Programs, as well as Networking Roundtables and dedicated NFPA Resource Center.  All sessions will be recorded and available on demand for registrantsso if you have to step away from your computer, you won’t miss a thing. Follow me on Twitter @AndreaVastis and follow NFPA on 


From a Week of Celebrating Fire Safety to Year-Round Fire & Life Safety Education

By Fire Safety, NFPA

Fire Prevention Week
(FPW) is celebrated once a year in the beginning of October to raise awareness of fire safety, and all month longwe’ll continue to see communities engaged in a variety of activities to help reduce the, addressing the number one cause of home fires & home fire injuries.  Fire and Life Safety (FLS) Education, however, happens all year long, addressing a myriad of community needs such as electrical safety, falls prevention, smoke alarm use, and home escape planning.   The work of the FLS Educator is one of constantly staying on top of local data and trends, finding ways to connect their community members with resources, and continuously engaging across platforms, audiences and topics. Enter NFPA’sfirst ever virtual conference, to be held Tuesday, October 27th from 11am – 5:30 pm EST.   NFPA kicked off the month with the annual celebration of FPW, and we are rounding out the month preparing FLS Educators for the year-long work they do to engage, educate, and advocate for the health and safety of their communities.  With four expert-developed sessions on Hoarding, Older Adult Falls Prevention, Community Risk Assessment & Reduction, and Integrating Technology into your Fire Safety Programs, there is something for everyone who involved in fire safety, injury prevention, healthcare, and public education. This FREE event includes live networking roundtable sessions along with an NFPA Resource Center, and will be recorded with access for all registrants.  One of the many lessons learned in the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to continue to learn, innovate, and grow to meet the needs of our community.for this professional development event to learn from the successes and challenges experienced by your peers in the world of prevention and risk reduction.   In the coming weeks we’ll be featuring highlights of each of our Spotlight on Public Education sessions. Follow me on Twitter @AndreaVastis and follow NFPA on   and  to keep up with the latest in fire and life safety education.