As children, we have been told repeatedly what to do in case there is a fire in our homes. These lessons stay with us and help keep everyone safe. Between having working fire alarms to an emergency escape plan, ourselves as individuals have made it very important to not only prevent fires, but safely live through one if it happens. Something that is not brought up in school lessons a lot is fire safety for the elderly or individuals with access or functional needs. For those individuals, it may be hard or physically impossible for them to follow emergency escape plans that have been set up due to having different needs. Luckily, there are ways to accommodate so that they themselves are safe in the event of a fire.
Smoke Alarms are very loud and are a clear indicator that there is a fire present somewhere in the house but what would you do if you were hearing impaired? In that case, a smoke alarm with a flashing strobe light or vibrations are available. For visually impaired individuals, they have a smoke alarm that has paused in between each cycle so you would be able to hear any verbal instructions someone else in your home could tell you. Additionally, there are smoke alarms that can be connected to a strobe light outside the home to alert neighbors that there may be a fire and you need assistance.
Fire escape plans are very important, even more important that they are planned out and tested. If you have a wheelchair or a walker, you want to be sure that you can get through the doorways safely in the case of evacuation. Another thing the consider if is there are accessible ramps by the exit doors to assist your evacuation. If you live in an apartment building or a multi-leveled home, it may be best for you to live on the ground floor. Not only does it decrease your escape time, but if you are physically impaired if may safe your life. In the event of a fire, elevators are shut off leaving a stairway as the only means of transportation to the ground floor level. Make sure that you let your family, neighbors, and property manager know of your special needs and fire plan, so they know how to assist you if the time ever comes. Additionally, always keep a phone on you or near your bed just in case. Safety is something to be considered for everyone and is something that needs to be taken very seriously. Your life is too valuable to be lost to a fire.