September 18, 2023 – The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) has announced the launch of Steps to Safety™ Prevent Fire and Falls at Home program, which serves as an update to Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, the NFPA fire and falls prevention curriculum for older adults created some 25 years ago. Like Remembering When, Steps to Safety’s core messages and methods focus on risk reduction to falls and fires, while the updated program reflects changes in today’s social, physical, and technological landscape.
“As the nation’s aging population continues to grow, more people are living longer and, in many cases, living independently,” said Andrea Vastis, senior director of public education at NFPA. “Steps to Safety works to ensure that its messages reach older adults in ways that truly meet their needs and challenges, offering solutions that promote healthy aging while reducing the strain on fire departments, EMS services, and the healthcare system.”
At age 65, older adults are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the population at large. By age 75, that risk increases to three times that of the general population — and to four times by age 85. One in three older adults will experience a fall, sending an average of one in 17 older adults to the emergency department each year in the U.S. According to NFPA data, the fire service now attends more falls than fires among older adults.
Steps to Safety features 16 key safety messages – eight fire prevention and eight fall prevention - developed by experts from national and local safety organizations across the U.S. and Canada. These messages are delivered to community members via group presentations, home visits, and the creation of a resource network. Rooted in fire and behavioral science and sound educational principles, the program includes an online professional training curriculum, along with new digital and print assets that support learning and behavior change across the older adult lifespan.
Steps to Safety is designed to be implemented by a coalition or community partnership comprised of the local fire department, health and social service agencies, service clubs, social and religious organizations, retirement communities, and others to deliver key fire and fall messages. Together, coalition/partner organizations can decide how to best approach the local senior population, leveraging local data, resources, and additional programs such as smoke alarm installation programs, lock box programs, grab bar installation services, and other wrap around services.
“Steps to Safety provides the framework and tools for Fire/EMS and their health and social service partners to measurably impact their community,” said Vastis. “The approach is one of collaboration, engagement, empowerment, and promoting independence.”
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)
Founded in 1896, NFPA® is a global, self-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275