Fire safety is a crucial issue for individuals with Disabilities. Persons with Disabilities face fire numerous risk factors. Weaker physical and cognitive capabilities make it harder to identify and respond to a fire, and create a higher risk that a fire will start. Other deficits may affect the senses and reduce mobility.
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.
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 avaliable 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 avaliable for people who have difficulty changing batteries.
- Test your smoke alarms monthly.
- All smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years (sooner if they fail to work)