Smoking-Related Fires: A Threat to Nursing Home Patients

The U.S. Fire Administration, based on data coming from several sources, has indicated that the leading cause of residential fires that result in fatalities in older adults is smoking. The U.S. Surgeon General stated that the older adult population represents the highest fire risk group and the risk of fire injury or death increases with age.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is advocating a policy to eliminate smoking and fires caused by smoking in all nursing home environments. This would mandate that all nursing homes be smoke-free environments for residents. Smoking would be eliminated from all the enclosed areas of a nursing home, but nursing homes could choose to establish an enclosed, well-ventilated area where smoking would be allowed during certain hours. There would be a smoke free environment outdoors as well, but again, a designated place could be provided where smoking was permitted during certain hours. Because a nursing home may have combustible materials such as oxygen tanks, access to matches and lighters by residents would be limited depending upon assessment by nursing home staff as to the resident’s ability to abide by residential smoking regulations.

Age, physical and mental health issues can prevent nursing home residents from acting quickly if something unexpected happens suddenly. Safety is the most important feature in any nursing home environment, and smoking related fires puts everyone’s safety in jeopardy.

Smoking related fire injuries in nursing homes are tragic and difficult for all parties involved, so seeking excellent legal counsel is key. If you or someone you love has been injured in a smoking related nursing home accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Jacoby and Meyers, LLP NY today. Our team of personal injury professionals has the knowledge and experience to offer you quality legal representation while fighting for the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at 1-877-504-5562 . You may also contact us by email at [email protected].