Fire Safe and Well Check for wheelchair users
On International Day of Persons with Disabilities (today, 3 December 2019), Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is encouraging people with mobility issues to consider home fire safety and escape route planning.
Whether you’re a wheelchair user or have limited mobility, it’s worth considering how you would escape or protect yourself if a fire happened in your home.
HWFRS Community Risk Technician Rob Garrard visited local resident and wheelchair user, Sheila Anthony (87), to carry out a Safe and Well Check, to help keep her safe in her home. As part of this, they devised escape plans for both the day and night, should a fire occur.
“We worked out the safest place for Mrs Anthony to go, depending on which floor of the house she was,” said Rob Garrard.
“During the day, if a fire started, Mrs Anthony would be able to get into her garage and close the safety door behind her, to give additional protection from any fire or smoke until the fire crews arrived, or until she could get outside.
“At night, if her newly-fitted vibration smoke alarm was activated, she can access the bathroom in her wheelchair and shut the door. If she was unable to call 999, an automatic call would be made to Fire Control and crews would be sent immediately. The fire crews have been made aware of both her escape plans and so would know where to look for her.”
Mrs Anthony said: “The Safe and Well Check really reassured me about how to prevent a fire in my home, how to increase the warning I would get from updated smoke alarms, and how to protect myself if a fire did happen.
“Anybody who finds walking a struggle, or who needs a wheelchair to get around their own home, can really benefit from the thorough advice the fire service gives.”
The Safe and Well Check from HWFRS is a free home safety visit that is tailored to an individual’s needs. It offers advice on how to reduce the risk of fire in the home, including the checking and fitting of smoke alarms as required.
For more information on home fire safety, visit www.hwfire.org.uk/safeandwell or to arrange a free Safe and Well Check, call the HWFRS Community Risk team on 0800 032 1155.