Fire safety matters for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with disabilities. The US Fire Administration, a division of FEMA, estimates that there are approximately 700 home fires involving individuals with physical disabilities, and a further 1,700 home fires involving individuals with mental disabilities, each year. If you’re looking for fire alarms for the disabled, it helps to start with an experienced home security provider like Vigilante Security.
Begin With the Fundamentals
A proper fire safety plan begins with preparation, and goes far beyond the type of alarm installed. It means ensuring that escape routes are carefully planned and kept unobstructed — especially important for those who are visually impaired, or those who need mobility assistance. If you live in a rental unit, you should also speak to your landlord or property manager regarding ADA compliance and any safety accommodations that are needed.
Installing the Right Fire Safety Alarm
Knowing the nature of an individual’s disability helps you and us understand the proper type of alarm to install. For hearing-impaired individuals, a traditional audible smoke alarm will not be sufficient; a system that uses bright lights and vibrates the floor or bed is advisable. For those with blindness or low vision, high-decibel alarms can also be disorienting, and may also block out voices and other audible cues normally used to navigate an environment, so the alarm system can be set for brief intervals of silence to prevent sensory overload. We can also consult for those with cognitive impairments, which often bring special considerations to alarm installations and evacuation procedures alike.
The Importance of Remote Monitoring
House fires move quickly, with even minor kitchen fires sometimes turning into a major conflagration. When a fire happens in your home, your first instinct will be to get yourself and your family to safety. Follow it! But that instinct also means that you may not be quick to summon emergency services, which is why remote monitoring is essential. Because Vigilante Security monitors your fire alarm and other systems we may have installed for you, we’re able to summon a response quickly — during a time when speed saves lives.
Other Best Practices for Fire Safety
Fire drills aren’t just for school-aged children. Adults benefit, too. Have an escape plan and practice it on a regular basis, making sure that all family members participate (including your service animal). Also make sure you have an alternate escape route, since fire moves rapidly and unpredictably and may block your usual route. And in the event of an actual emergency, do not stop to gather belongings, or attempt to re-enter the structure for any reason. Also alert first responders to the special needs of any individuals in your home. This can be done well in advance of an emergency, but if you haven’t done this, be sure to let them know upon arrival.
Like you, Vigilante Security hopes you will never need the alarm systems we install. However, experience has also taught us that you can never be too prepared when it comes to safeguarding your own safety, or that of your loved ones. For a fire safety consultation, fire alarm installation, or information on remote monitoring services, we invite you to contact us today.