Essay Example on Elderly Fire Risk Reduction: Identifying & Prioritizing Risks

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1297 Words
Date:  2023-04-09


Community risk reduction constitutes identification and prioritization of risks that is followed by applications of coordinate resources to reduce the chances of occurrence or the impacts of adverse events (Anderson, Holcombe, Holm-Nielsen, & Della Monica, 2014). Various risks are associated with elderly persons, especially in scenarios of fire outbreaks. Such risks comprise accidental falls among elderly individuals and may result in serious injury cases. With the increase in the number of the elderly population, the situation might persist or become worse. A community risk reduction practice that aims at minimizing elderly falls in situations of fire outbreaks is fundamental, and strong strategies for enhancing risk identification and management is essential (Anderson et al., 2014). The focus of this paper is to come up with a community risk reduction plan that aims at reducing elderly falling or slipping at home.

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Role of the Fire Department in Risk Reduction Process Concerning Elderly Falls


The fire department ensures that various regulation policies concerning fire safety are adhered to by everyone. The legislation grants the fire departments the authority to enforce all the necessary safety requirements. Paton (2018) argued that most elderlies' falling is attributed to their physical inabilities and scramble for safety in the case of fire outbreaks. He further noted that cases of scrambling and hence falling would be significantly minimized if fire-related incidences are reduced. The fire department, therefore, needs to reduce fire outbreaks by enforcing various legislative requirements.

Enforcements help in minimizing risks via the enforcement of legislation through inspections and the imposition of fines in cases of non-compliances (Paton, 2018). Legislation enforcement ensures that individuals adhere to all the required regulations hence reducing the risks of injuries in case of fire outbreaks (Azad, Uddin, Zaman, & Ashraf, 2020). Among the enforcement activities to be put into consideration include requiring sprinklers in the residential homes, enforcing life and fire safety codes as well as requiring smoke alarms in homes.


Education covers a different range of approaches that are all geared towards informing people about safety measures. It constitutes an initiative by the fire department to educate the elderly members of the community on various ways of emergency handling as well as mitigating any form of damage that may result from such incidences (Paton, 2018). Educating the elderly may be substantial in stimulating the actions that result in behavioral changes in relation to safety. A change in behavior makes the elderlies to adopt to best practices hence minimizing their risks of injuries or falling in cases of fire outbreaks (Azad et al., 2020). After educating the elderly on the best risk management practices, the fire department officials may then make a follow-up activity to ascertain if the elderly are adhering to the expected practices and guidelines. This will ensure that the elderly are well informed and are hence minimizing the risks associated with falling.

Frequent Inspections

The fire department plays a significant role in reducing risks associated with elderly falls. This is achieved by inspecting building infrastructure where the elderlies reside. The fire department officers inspect the buildings to ensure that they adhere to the fire safety regulations requirements (Azad et al., 2020). Besides, they may inspect the buildings where elderlies reside to verify if they are well lit and that there is a sufficient amount of light from both the bottom and top of the stairways. Besides, they inspect to ensure that there exist handrails that are easy to grip along the entire lengths of the stairs (Anderson et al., 2014). When all these safety requirements are enforced, then chances of falling by the elderly will be minimized.

Principles of Community Risk Reduction

Various principles can be employed to help reduce community risk; some of the commonly used principles constitute engineering and risk identification.


As a principle of community risk reduction, engineering refers to solutions that may help in preventing the occurrence of incidences or having the damages monitored once an incident has occurred (Anderson et al., 2014). Engineering involves incorporating new technologies and products to help in modifying the environments so as to mitigate or prevent injuries. The principle of engineering applies products and techniques such as smoke alarms, fire sprinklers as fault circuit interrupters (Azad et al., 2020). The principles play a significant role in ensuring the risks associated with fire outbreaks, and hence falling of the elderly are mitigated.

Risk Identification

Risk identification is another fundamental principle of community risk reduction. It constitutes reviewing an incident data and coupling it with what is known of a given community such as demographics and age to help in getting a more accurate image of various risks in a given community (Azad et al., 2020). The principle advocates for working with various community partners, including private organizations and government agencies, as well as fellow public safety departments to help in enhancing expertise and information that is necessary for community risk reduction.

Lead Representative of the Risk Reduction Plan and his/her Responsibilities

As a fire department chief, I would task the assistant fire chief with the responsibility of risk reduction planning and his/her responsibilities would constitute the following:

  • Overseeing and ensuring maintenance of all equipment, apparatus, and grounds (Azad et al., 2020).
  • Assisting the Fire Chief in monitoring departmental procedures, policies, and standards that direct and guide activities within the department, and ensuring complete compliance with regulatory and legislative requirements to mitigate risks as well as minimizing corporate liabilities (Azad et al., 2020).
  • Responding to inquiries and complaints from the staff, public, and other inspection or enforcement units concerning building regulatory by-laws and code matters (Azad et al., 2020).
  • Ensuring that timely feedbacks are issued to department inquiries from the public as well as the council (Azad et al., 2020).

Risks Faced by the Community and its Residence and the Solutions

The community and its residents face an uncountable number of risks that may lead to serious injuries if no proper interventions are taken. Among the community risks involves:

Fire Outbreaks

Fire outbreaks are some of the common types of risk in any given community. The outbreak may emanate from electricity or gas (Paton, 2018). The risk management officials should mitigate risks associated with fire by ensuring that only qualified contractors install the systems. Furthermore, consistent inspections and testing need to be undertaken to help in reducing the risks of gas or electrical fires.

Slipping and Falling

Slips and falling are other risks that are commonly experienced in the community, especially by the elderly. The safety security persons should inspect buildings to ascertain that the stairs are adequately lit and that the floors are in good condition (Paton, 2018). The community should be educated on the recommended standards of housing as well as the best footwear that can help in minimizing slipping and hence falling (Azad et al., 2020). Besides, the community residence should be encouraged to dry any spillage on the floor to help in reducing any form of slipping.


Risks have become part and parcel of human life. If no proper interventions are taken into considerations, the risks may lead to tremendous losses of properties and even life. It is worth noting that elderly individuals have become the biggest victims of risks. This is due to the physical inabilities that render them unfit to overcome certain situations. The elderly have thus become prone to risks of falling hence calling for the need to establish a comprehensive risk reduction plan.


Anderson, M., Holcombe, E., Holm-Nielsen, N., & Della, Monica, R. (2014). What are the emerging challenges for community-based landslide risk reduction in developing countries? Natural Hazards Review, 15(2), 128-139. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)nh.1527-6996.0000125

Azad, M., Uddin, M., Zaman, S., & Ashraf, M. (2020). Community-based Disaster Management and Its Salient Features: A Policy Approach to People-centred Risk Reduction in Bangladesh. Asia-Pacific Journal of Rural Development, 2(4), 101852911989803. doi: 10.1177/1018529119898036

Paton, D. (2018). Disaster risk reduction: Psychological perspectives on preparedness. Australian Journal of Psychology, 71(4), 327-341. doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12237

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