Research indicates that older adults are at a higher risk of injury or death by fires and falls in the home, compared to the population at large.
In an effort to prevent older adults from becoming statistics, the Senior Home Information Program (SHIP) will be offering free smoke alarms to Scioto County seniors age 60 and older, without regard to income.
SHIP is a voluntary service that provides FREE home safety information to residents of Scioto County who are age 60 or older, to identify features in their home that might make their residence susceptible to burglaries, fires, or injuries due to falls. Qualified law enforcement officers, firefighters, aging service professionals, and occupational therapy student interns will conduct visits and provide information about the steps that can be taken to remove or reduce hazards that put seniors at risk.
The free smoke alarms for the SHIP program were generously donated by the State Fire Marshal, Paul Martin – Fire Prevention Bureau. The program is asking for donations of additional safety items including flashlights, nightlights, carbon monoxide detectors, slip-resistant bathtub mats, and rug anchors. Donations will be accepted at the Portsmouth Fire Station, Attn. Capt. Sines, 1529 Gallia St, Portsmouth, Ohio.
The SHIP program is a joint collaboration of multiple community partners including the Portsmouth Fire Dept., All Scioto County Fire Depts., Area Agency on Aging, Scioto County Sheriff’s Dept., Portsmouth City Police Dept., Scioto County Dept. of Job & Family Services, Shawnee State University, SOMC, Holzer, and others. To find out more, call 1-800-582-7277
Some of these people were together to introduce these services on Thursday morning. Michael Sines, Portsmouth Fire Captain, said, “This is a joint effort, we have Adult Corrective Services, Area Agency on Aging who will be receiving the calls, they can screen them. We will be housing a lot of slip resistant things for the bottom of bathtubs, rugs anchors for slip resistance, and smoke alarms. If anybody in Scioto County needs it, they can make contact and whatever jurisdiction they live in, that fire department will come here (Portsmouth Fire Department)and gather supplies go to the home visit and install. We have a large stakeholder in the prevention of fire-related deaths. We have a large facility here, I can store a lot of the things and it’s all in one place. Portsmouth Fire Chief, Bill Raison allowed us to have space, we are going to put lockers out in the garage and we’ll be able to store everything.”
Sines continued, “The Adult Protective Services and someone from the police department or Scioto County Sheriff’s office will come out and do a home safety screening and give them advice and the fire department will come in and install the smoke detectors. It gives the fire departments a chance to get familiar with the homes in their territories also. People who sign up to do this, agree to have these people come out and look at the homes and help them improve their homes with safety.”
Rhonda Porter, Job and Family Services Adult Protective Services says that she feels that a lot of people will want to get a free inspection and smoke alarms, anyone 60 and older qualifies
Chief Raison said, “What”s really nice is you look at a whole range of services that seniors need, there’s our component of fire safety, there’s law enforcement component if they want to talk to them about being safe from crime and things related. It’s really nice that it all comes together in one program because sometimes it”s difficult for seniors to figure out all the things available. In a situation like this, they get it all nicely packaged together for them and they get a whole range of services.”
Becky Montgomery, from the Adult Protective Services, said, “Ultimately, most elders they want to stay in their home as long as they possibly can this could enable them possibly to be able to stay safely in their home without assistance.”
The SHIP program is as Martin put it something he’s has been working on for a while, and he is so glad to see it come to fruition.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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