Are your fire safety measures sufficient for everyone who lives in your home, or even for any regular houseguests? If you live with someone who is affected by a disability, you need to ensure that your fire safety measures are enough to keep them safe as well, and some adjustments might be necessary. So what are some of the things you might need to consider?
Visual Smoke Alarms
Do your smoke alarms have enough of a visible alert? While most smoke alarms will have a small flashing light, you might wish to upgrade these to alarms that have a more easily seen alert notification (which is essentially a larger flashing light). This can be highly beneficial if someone in your home is affected by impaired hearing.
Appropriate Exit Points
Are there enough viable exits for anyone who might be affected by mobility issues? To ensure that this is the case, additional wheelchair ramps or handgrips might need to be installed at all the doors to your home, since you obviously will not know which exit will be the nearest if evacuation were to be necessary.
Fire Extinguisher Accessibility
Check the location of your fire extinguishers. Are they in a position where they can be accessed by anyone who has the ability to use them? For example, are they easily reachable by someone in a wheelchair? If this is not the case, it will be necessary to reposition them. You should then make a point of notifying everyone who lives in your home of the new position so that the fire extinguishers can be immediately located if they were to be needed in an emergency.
While a swift exit can save lives in the event of a house fire, those affected by a disability might need assistance to safely exit. It can be wise to designate an appropriate person in your home as a helper in the event of an evacuation. They will know that it's their responsibility to assist the person with a disability if evacuation were to prove necessary. This can be more logistically complicated than when someone only needs to get themselves to safety, so it can be beneficial to actually practice these evacuation procedures.
It's important that you have appropriate fire safety measures in place that will protect absolutely everyone who lives in your home, or who might be a regular visitor. Such measures have the ability to save lives.