Stay safe! Home fire safety for people living with disabilities
Fire Fighters across the country are continually educating Canadians about fire and life safety issues. They particularly want to ensure that people living with neuromuscular disorders are aware of how they can reduce the impact of a fire threatening their homes.
That’s why the National Fire Fighters Relations Committee (NFFRC) provides information that you can use to develop a game plan for dealing with emergencies in your home. Consider applying the following tips, especially if you are living with a disability that may reduce your ability to evacuate your home safely and efficiently in the case of a fire-related emergency.
Home fire sprinklers
Home fire sprinklers help protect lives by keeping fires small. This gives people more time to escape. When choosing an apartment or home, look for one that has home fire sprinklers. If your current home does not have a fire sprinkler system, consider hiring a professional to install one.
Be sure to install smoke alarms in every sleeping room. There also should be alarms outside of each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For added safety, connect all of the smoke alarms to each other. That means if one sounds, they all will sound. This gives people more time to escape.
Test your smoke alarm at least once a month by pushing the test button. Ask for help if you can’t reach the alarm. Smoke alarms with sealed (long-life) batteries work for up to 10 years. This can be helpful for people who find it hard to change batteries.
Involve everyone in your house in escape planning. Give each person the opportunity to provide input about the best ways to escape.
Home fire drills are important. Everyone in the home must participate in them. Keep a phone by your bed in case you can’t escape and need to call for help.
Talk with someone
It is a good idea to contact your local fire department about your escape plan and ask them to review it.
Find out if your fire department keeps a directory of people who may need extra help. If they do, consider having your name (and that of anyone in your house who may require extra help) added to the list. If you have a service animal, agree on a plan to keep the animal with you during an emergency.
We hope you find these hints helpful. If you have questions about any of this information, contact your local fire department. If you are unable reach them, contact your regional office of Muscular Dystrophy Canada; they will put you in touch with a Fire Fighter who can assist you.
The commitment of Canadian Fire Fighters to individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders goes beyond fund-raising—they also care about your well-being. The National Fire Fighters Relations Committee (NFFRC) brings educational articles about fire and life safety issues to help keep you safe!