Remembering When: a fall and fire prevention program for older adults

A Good Idea


Remembering When is an educational program that teaches older adults how to prevent fires and falls in their homes. Older adults are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires or falls compared to the general population. Thirty percent of people aged 65 and older are involved in falls each year. Falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injury in the home. Key safety messages are taught and reinforced through discussion questions, trivia quizzes, audiovisual aids, checklists and handouts specifically created for older adults. The materials can be utilized in home visits, group presentations, or as part of a smoke alarm installation campaign. Firefighters, public health workers, universities, senior centers and hospitals have conducted group presentations.

The Remembering When program materials are centered around 16 key safety messages, eight fire and eight fall prevention messages. For example, to prevent fires, participants in the program are taught to use large, deep ashtrays and how to appropriately place space heaters in the home. To prevent falls, older adults are encouraged to use safe shoes and improve lighting in their houses. The program is notable because it is interactive and because it uses a nostalgia these in its lesson plans and educational literature.

Goal / Mission

Remembering When was developed to prevent deaths and injuries from fires and falls among older adults.

Results / Accomplishments

The NFPA has distributed 5,000 free copies of the Remembering When curriculum to local fire and public health departments, universities, senior centers and hospitals.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
National Fire Protection Association

1 Batterymarch park

Quincy, MA 02269

Health / Older Adults & Aging
Health / Prevention & Safety
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Center for High-Risk Outreach
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
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Target Audience