Has a senior citizen in your community responded appropriately during an emergency? Did they demonstrate key fire and life safety behaviors; dialing 911 to report an incident; respond to a fire alarm correctly by promptly exiting the building; or perform a lifesaving medical maneuver? Do you think that this senior citizen's commendable actions should be recognized? Well, Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan agrees! That is why the Department of Fire Services, Public Education Unit is instituting the "Golden Heroes" program.

In general older adults 65 years and older are twice as likely to be killed or injured in a fire, compared to the population at large. That risk increases to three times that of the general population by age 75 and four times by age of 85. Over 1/3 (34%) of fatal fire victims in 2010 were older adults over the age of 65. Flame burn injuries were the leading cause of burns to older adults. Flame burns caused 40% of the burn injuries in senior citizens. Scalds followed with 33%, fires with 17%, contacts with 7%, and explosions with 3%. It is important that senior citizens do everything in their power to prevent fires and survive to teach their grandchildren about fire safety.

Nominate a Golden Hero 
To notify the Department of Fire Services about a senior citizen whose actions during an emergency are deserving of recognition, contact Jennifer Mieth in the Public Education Unit at: