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Helping Older Adults Be FireSmart

Older adults hold up emergency Go Bags gifted them by MySafe:LA

If you’re 55 and older, you’re twice as likely to die in a house fire.

Bryan Vardanian explains how to use a fire extinguisher to a woman.
MySafe:LA’s Bryan Vardanian explains how to use and maintain a fire extinguisher to one of the attendees at a MySafe:LA FireSmart presentation.

In a typical year in Los Angeles, 20 people die in house fires, and the majority of those people are older adults.

“But you don’t have to be a statistic,” said Cameron Barrett, MySafe:LA’s Education Director. “Our FireSmart: Older Adults program is designed to give people clear, easy-to-follow guidelines for making their homes and themselves safer.”

Older adults hold up emergency Go Bags gifted them by MySafe:LA
A group of very happy older adults with their Go Bags at a MySafe:LA FireSmart:Older Adults presentation.

MySafe:LA, the public education partner of the Los Angeles Fire Department, sends fire and life safety professionals all over Los Angeles, teaching people what to do in the event of an emergency like a house fire, or a larger scale disaster like an earthquake. MySafe:LA visits hundreds of schools, Rec & Parks facilities, Senior Centers, and churches each year.

“In the FireSmart: Older Adult program,” said Barrett, “you can learn how to create a family escape plan, how to safely shelter in place if you’re apartment building is on fire, what to do if you have a grease fire in your kitchen, and where you should install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s a great program, and we bring all kinds of freebies as well.”

picture of older adult woman with Go Bag

The presentation lasts about an hour, and all attendees get free “Go Bags” filled with FireSmart education materials, a combination flashlight/whistle, a seven-day medication organizer and an emergency window placard. Guests also get the chance to sign up for free home safety inspections and smoke alarm installations.

If you have a group of 50 or more and would like MySafe:LA to present the FireSmart: Older Adults program, call 213-634-0100 or email

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