NEWBURYPORT — Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire would like to share a series of public service announcements from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services that aim to reduce injuries to seniors as a result of fire.
The “Dear Grandma” PSAs were produced in response to preliminary data from the Massachusetts Fire Injury Reporting System which shows that almost half of fatal fire victims in 2021 were individuals 65 and older, even though seniors make up only 17 percent of the state’s population.
Working smoke alarms are among the best tools for preventing fire injuries, so the PSAs were designed to raise awareness of their importance among seniors.
“I hope everyone in our community will take these public service announcements to heart, and ensure that they and any family members who are 65 or older regularly maintain their smoke alarms and change the batteries twice a year,” said Chief LeClaire. “I would also like to remind residents that smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years.”
The PSAs feature a girl writing a letter to her grandma about all of the things she looks forward to doing with her grandma, interspersed with messages about the importance of smoke alarms.
The PSAs were produced in both English and Spanish, and began airing in Boston, Springfield and Worcester media markets earlier this month.
“In Massachusetts and nationwide, people over 65 have a disproportionately high risk of dying in a fire,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “Everyone should have working smoke alarms in their homes, but we developed this PSA to reach older adults in particular because of the higher statistical risk they face. Installing smoke alarms on every floor of the home, checking them regularly, and replacing them after 10 years can dramatically reduce that risk.”
To view the PSA in English, click here.
To view the PSA in Spanish, click here.