Fire and the Older Adult   [open pdf - 792KB]

This document prepared by the U.S. Fire Administration addresses current trends and characteristics among those people 65 and older and the risk factors that they face with regard to fire. The study uses its own methodology, which is used to address sensory and cognitive impairments, disabilities and mobility limitations, alcohol and prescription drugs, and economic and social factors. From the text: "In 2000, individuals 65 years and older comprised 12 percent of the America's population. By 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the proportion of older Americans will rise to 16 percent (55 million older adults) and that by 2050 there will be more than 86 million older Americans, accounting for 21 percent of the U.S. population. More than half of older Americans are between ages 65 and 74; 88 percent are between 65 and 84. Fifty-nine percent of the elderly population are women and 83 percent are white. Seventy−three percent of elderly men are married compared with 41 percent of elderly women. Geographically, the largest population groups of older Americans reside in California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The South and Midwest have the largest number of elderly residents as a percentage of the overall population. […] Data regarding residential structure fires and older adults show that, despite the differences in fire risk factors, there are many similarities between fires involving the elderly and fires involving the nonelderly. But there are also important differences, such as the time of day fatal and injurious fires occur, and the gender and racial breakdown of fire fatalities and injuries."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov
Media Type:
Help with citations