Fire safety for people with mobility difficulties

Fire safety for people with mobility difficulties

If you, a family member, or someone you care for has mobility difficulties - here’s some practical fire safety advice to consider.

We will also come to visit you in your home to talk to you about specific things you can do to keep safe and in many cases, we will provide free specialist equipment.

We also have information about storing battery-powered scooters or wheelchairs.

Book a home safety visit

For advice about staying safe in your home and to arrange a home safety visit contact us (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).

Useful equipment

If it is difficult to test your smoke alarm ask somebody to do it for you. You can also get easy access alarms, which can be tested from the wall rather than the ceiling.

If you have trouble moving around, consider fitting an intercom that will allow you to alert someone else in the house in the event of an emergency.

In case of an emergency

  • Make sure you have easy access at all times to any mobility aids you may need, such as a walking stick.
  • Make sure any stairlifts or wheelchairs are kept in good working order in case of any emergency.
  • Consider alternative means of escape should the electricity supply fail due to a fire.
  • Always keep a mobile phone next to your bed in case you need to make an emergency call.

If you live in rented accommodation read our safety advice for tenants.

Plan an escape route

  • Think about all possible escape routes in case there is a fire.
  • It is a good idea to practise an escape so that you feel confident you could do it day or night.
  • Keep a phone in the bedroom in case you need to make an emergency call. If it’s a mobile, keep it charged.
  • Make sure all exits and escape routes are kept clear taking into consideration any mobility aids that you use.
  • Keep keys where you can find them in case you need them in a hurry, preferably near to your door.
  • The best route is the normal way in and out of your home.
  • Make sure you know how your house or personal alarm works, including any passwords or codes.
  • If you have a key safe outside your property or an access code to the property, it is a good idea to tell the emergency services when calling us in an emergency.

What to do if there is a fire

  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself.
  • If you can, get out, stay out and call 999.
  • If you can’t dial 999 yourself, get a neighbour to do it for you.
  • If you can’t get out, go into a room that has a window and a phone and shut the door.
  • Put blankets or towels around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke, then open the window and call ‘Help Fire’.
  • Keep a whistle handy if it’s hard to shout.

Battery‐powered mobility scooters and wheelchairs

There are two fire safety considerations for battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs.

1. Store your mobility scooter or wheelchair in a safe place

  • This should be away from the fire escape route. Your building owner will advise on this. This is because the scooter could get in the way, but also if it were to be involved in a fire, this could affect the escape route.

2. Charging mobility scooter batteries safely

  • You must charge your scooter in a specially designated, well-ventilated area.
  • You should only charge during the daytime. This is because if something goes wrong with the battery and there is a fire, there would be people awake to raise the alarm.

More resources

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