Being educated about fire safety and being prepared in case of a fire are invaluable to everyone. We all need to take special precautions to care for ourselves.
Individuals with Disabilities face numerous risk factors when it comes to fire safety. Weaker physical and cognitive capabilities make it harder to identify and respond to a fire, and can create a higher risk that a fire will start. Other deficits may also affect the senses and reduce mobility.
Create a Home Fire Escape Plan
- Draw a simple plan of your home and identify two ways out of every room. Plan your escape around your abilities.
- Determine a meeting place outside your home. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Make sure you can unlock and open all windows and doors quickly, especially those with security bars and deadbolts.
- Have a telephone and the local emergency number next to your bed in case you are trapped by smoke or fire.
- People who are hard of hearing and use text telephone devices (TTY’s or TDDs) should call the TTY-equipped 911 center in an emergency.
Escape During a Fire
- If there is smoke or flames blocking your way out - use your second way out
- If you must go through smoke - go as low as you can under the smoke to your exit
- Go to your outside meeting place and call the fire department
- If you must wait for rescue - close your door to keep the smoke out, wait by a window and make your presence known to arriving firefighters
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home (including the basement), inside each bedroom and outside all sleeping areas.
- For added safety - interconnect all the smoke alarms so that when one sounds - they all sound.
- Smoke alarms that use flashing lights are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. (Vibration equipment (that shake the bed to wake a person) can be added to these alarms.)
- Alarms that contain 10 year lithium batteries are available for people who have difficulty changing batteries.
- Test your smoke alarms monthly.
- All smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years or as soon as possible if they fail to work.