Understanding a persons sight loss and knowing where to go for extra support can ensure your relative, friend or neighbour is safe from fire in their home and would know what to do in the event of a fire, from escaping their home to calling 999.
‘Seeing It Through My Eyes’ is a short film by Winchester resident, Richard Wheeler who although registered blind is promoting he’s not lost his independence. His campaign was supported by Fixers.
Conventional smoke alarms work by emitting a loud noise when smoke is detected, providing the vital early warning of fire, and therefore aiding escape.
If you’re blind or have a reduced vision, there are additional ways to ensure you’d be aware of a fire in your home. Consider placing a brightly coloured sticker on your smoke alarm so it stands out against a white ceiling.
Consider fitting a strobe light and vibrating pad system. These alarm systems activate in the same way as other smoke alarms but the light and vibrations aid in alerting the resident.
The alarms can be bought from Blue Watch, the Chief Fire Officers Association’s home safety scheme.
For more information about helpful indicators visit the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) online shop: www.shop.rnib.uk or ring 0303 123 9999
We recommend you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home (avoiding the kitchen and bathroom) and ask a friend, family member or neighbour to test your smoke alarm every week.
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Place helpful indicators along your escape routes and make sure you feel comfortable following them, even if you’re feeling tired in the middle of the night
Ensure all doorways and corridors are kept clear
Have a plan B. The front door is usually your first option, but have a plan B if plan A is blocked
Keep door and window keys near the exit and easy to reach
Ensure you’re able to dial 999 on your landline or mobile, markers can be useful.
Make sure your front doorbell is working and is an amplified or vibrating doorbell. So, that a neighbour or firefighter can alert you.