One of the best perks about living in a retirement community is the food. At Galloway Ridge there are all sorts of dining options. Residents don’t have to think about meal planning, preparation or clean-up ever if they don’t want to!

But sometimes it’s nice to cook a pot of chili on a cold winter day or make a pot roast with that special seasoning that just reminds you of Sunday meals long ago. But I know from my own experience that getting out of the cooking routine presents challenges.

Some are culinary like forgetting exactly what you did to make that roast so delicious. Others are things like getting distracted and forgetting that something is in the stove roasting well past delicious to more like a charcoal briquette. And if left a little longer, well, that’s when it’s good to have a fire extinguisher.

It’s not that seniors are any more likely to have accidents like this than 20-somethings because accidents happen to everyone.

There is an acronym to remember when using a fire extinguisher:

PASS

P is for PULL. Pull the pin on the extinguisher. (Some extinguishers might have a latch or a lever instead.)
A is for AIM. Aim low pointing directly at the base of the fire.
S is for SQUEEZE. Squeeze the handle to dispense the fire-fighting chemicals.
S is for SWEEP. Sweep the spray from side to side until the fire appears to be out.

Because not every fire extinguisher is exactly alike, read the directions before you need it so you have it in your head what to do in an emergency situation. And remember that after it is used, it must be recharged or replaced.

There are times to NOT try to fight a fire:

• If the fire could block your only exit
• If the fire is spreading too quickly
• If the type or size of the extinguisher is wrong
• If the fire is too large
• If you don’t know how to use your fire extinguisher

In these situations, just get out and call the fire department for help. It doesn’t matter if you are living in your first apartment or are a senior living in one of the apartments at a retirement community like Galloway Ridge, don’t ever take a chance with fire.