Residents of Florida nursing homes face different risks – including the risk of injury or death from a fire on the premises.
The prospect is particularly frightening because many seniors in nursing homes and elder care communities are bed-ridden or have limited mobility.
On June 8, three people were injured – and a handful of others received medical treatment – when a fire broke out at an assisted living facility in Coral Springs. According to news reports, the fire began in the bedroom of a woman in the Alzheimer’s unit after midnight.
According to The Sun Sentinel, a security guard from the facility was able to pull the woman out of the room.
The victim was taken to Broward Health North, while the security guard sustained minor injuries and was transported to Coral Springs Medical Center. Another resident was also taken to the same hospital for smoke inhalation, while five other patients sought medical treatment onsite.
The newspaper stated that rescue workers who arrived at the scene found smoke filling the hallway, and that a number of staff members and residents had already evacuated the building.
The cause of the fire remains to be under investigation.
Eight Fire Safety Tips for Florida Nursing Home Residents
By taking a few common-sense steps, you can help protect your loved one in a Florida nursing home.
- Make sure the facility has adequate smoke alarms, detectors, sprinklers and extinguishers.
- Check to see that the equipment is code-approved and has been properly inspected.
- Ask if caregivers have been trained in fire safety.
- Review the fire evacuation plan.
- If your loved one uses a walker or wheelchair, make sure they can fit through exits and that there are necessary accommodations like ramps and widened doorways.
- Talk about fire safety and evacuation with your loved one.
- Make sure any flammable objects like oxygen tanks or chemicals are safeguarded.
- See that there is a telephone, buzzer or other warning system in the room in the event of an emergency.
If your relative has been injured by what you think might be nursing home neglect in Florida, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
- The Sun Sentinel
- U.S. Fire Administration