Fire safety systems are often simply kept up to building code, without adding an extra degree of preparedness and accessibility for those with disabilities.
The goal of this guide is to provide safety measures for those living at home with a disability by offering escape plans; some modern phone applications for alerting the authorities in case of danger; as well as solutions to a variety of scenarios that might befall the disabled.
IF YOU WANT TO ENSURE YOUR LOVED ONES ARE SAFE AT HOME (AND WHO DOESN'T?) THEN THESE STEPS ARE ESSENTIAL.
According to data from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), in the interval between January 1st and March 3rd of 2017, “500 civilian home fire fatalities” were reported. Residential fires claim thousands of lives each year. Although we’ve come a long way in developing state-of-the-art alarms and other various implementations that decrease the risk of fatalities, there is a category of people that is in a terrible and immediate need of further specialized fire safety systems: those with disabilities.
Spontaneous fires are incredibly dangerous even for the fittest of us, but they are ten times riskier in the case of the impaired, i.e. those who cannot walk, hear or see. Furthermore, in spite of the fact that their houses can be equipped with specific setups that could potentially facilitate their safe passage outside, they cannot install these prevention mechanisms unless they are cared for by relatives and/or hired caregivers.
As you can well imagine, this fire safety issue becomes all-the-more severe in the case of those disabled people that are living on their own, without any help from the outside. They are considerably more exposed to dying in fires than those disabled individuals who live with members of their families.
The objective of this guide is to provide safety measures for this imperiled group by offering escape plans, some modern phone applications for alerting the authorities in case of danger as well as solutions to a variety of scenarios that might befall the disabled.
First of all, let us outline a brief presentation of the impairment categories. This way, we can understand the dangers that their representatives would face.
Who Is This Guide For?
This guide is dedicated to people who live with three main types of disabilities, namely:
This type of disability includes people who suffer from partial or total blindness or are going through a slow process of recovering from eye injuries that have rendered them blind temporarily. In all three instances, they would be threatened by fires due to their limited or nonexistent sight. Sight is our most helpful faculty because it allows us to assess the severity of the dangers around us. Even though blind people have sharpened hearing and a more developed tactile sense, that’s not of much help in case of a hazard.
This category includes people who are deaf or suffer from mild deafness (synonymous with “hard of hearing”) and are using hearing-enhancing kits that they may remove at night. These representatives would also be jeopardized because they may not hear certain frequencies/ pitches. So, the fire and smoke alarms would not be of much help.
This category is represented by all those people who are suffering from any kind of disability that limits or nullifies their ability to move. Subsequently, they are confined to wheelchairs. Even though their response time to alarms going off is intact, they would have difficulties in getting out of the house.
Table Of Contents
- Fire Safety For The Visually Impaired
- Fire Safety For The Hearing Impaired
- Fire Safety For The Mobility Impaired
- Fire Safety For Multi-Resident Buildings (example: senior living or households with more than one disabled person)
- Smartphone Apps For People With Disabilities
- Fire Escape Plans For People With Disabilities
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