Over 43 million Americans have a disability, mostly ranging from mobility, visual, hearing, speech, and cognitive. Some of these disabilities are short-term, while most are chronic.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year approximately 700 home fires involve people with physical disabilities, while around 1,700 home fires involve people with mental disabilities.
Individuals with disabilities have more difficulty escaping their home during a fire. For this reason, it is especially important for friends, relatives, and caregivers to help emergency personnel ahead of time, eliminating fire hazards and supplying equipment to warn personnel of a fire. Of course, your local firefighters are also a great source of help when preventing fires in your home.
Here is a list of safety measures for those with a disability in their household:
For someone who is deaf or hard of hearing
Smoke detectors on every floor, interconnect alarms
Smoke detectors with vibrating pad or flashing/strobe light
Other safety measures include:
Home Sprinkler System
Eliminate Fire Hazards in the Home
Live on the ground floor, near an exit
Determine if there is a need for exit ramps or widened doorways
Keep your phone, glasses, hearing aid, cane or wheelchair close to your bed
Keep fire extinguisher close to bed
Practice escape plan with other residents of the home or neighbors and know two exits from every room
If possible, someone in the home should be assigned to help a person with disabilities escape in the event of a fire
Contact your local dispatch’s nonemergency line and request them to keep your household’s special needs on file
Reach out to your local fire department for assistance with an escape plan, fire prevention tips and/ or a home fire safety inspection. Remember to regularly practice your escape plan and test your smoke detectors.
For more fire safety information, visit Hannibalfire.com and watch the Hannibal Fire Department Facebook page for fire prevention tips.