Fire Safety with Disabilities
It is important to know your risk and build your fire prevention plans around your abilities. People with mobility, sight and hearing disabilities can significantly increase their chances of surviving a fire by practicing fire safety precautions. Approximately 3,500 Americans die and 18,300 are injured in fires each year. Using a Fire Safety Checklist can help protect yourself and your home from fire.
Depending on any physical limitations, individuals may require help from a caretaker, neighbor, or outside source. It is important to practice escape plans in case of a fire. Remember that in the event of a fire that every second counts.
People with mobility disabilities should be encouraged to have their bedroom on the ground floor and as close as possible to an exit. Listed below are more important steps to add to your Home Fire Safety Plan:
Know two ways out of every room
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use smoke alarms with vibrating pad, flashing light or strobe light
Test your alarm monthly
Interconnect your alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound
Have smoke alarms inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas
Be sure your street address is clearly marked and visible from the street
Creating a Fire Escape Plan is just as important as having a Fire Safety Plan. Listed below are tips on creating a safe escape:
Involve the assistance of a building manager, family member or a friend when practicing your fire escape
If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to make sure they get through the doorways
When a fire occurs, do not waste any time saving property. Once out, stay out
Practice opening locked or barred doors and windows
Being on a ground floor and near an exit will make your escape easier
Never use an elevator
Millions of Americans live with mental and physical disabilities, and it is important to have a Fire Safety Checklist and Escape Plan. You can contact your local Fire Department to help with an escape plan and keep your needs on file.