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Fire Safety for Disabled People

Intended to help disabled people, their loved ones, and firefighters understand fire safety measures specifically designed to help those with disabilities. #PreparingWithDisabilities

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Emergency Preparedness for Disabled People

This video, created by FEMA, provides an overview of personal preparedness tips for disabled people in the event of an emergency. More information about the tips shared in this video can be found at

Fire Safety

Having a disability doesn't mean you can't keep you and your family safe from fire!

It is important that you build your home safety plan around your abilities. Below are a few suggestions to help keep you safe from fire at home.

This cartoon gif depicts a man in a wheelchair speaking to a woman. The text bubble uses photos of a smoke detector, fire, and map to depict an evacuation plan. Text reads "Talk with the fire department and your building manager about your evacuation and personal safety plan. Learn how they can help to meet your needs."

Install and maintain smoke alarms

  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

  • Ask the manager of your building, or a friend or relative, to install at least 1 smoke alarm on each level of your home.

  • Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year. If you can't reach the test button on your smoke alarm, ask someone to test it for you.

Live near an exit

  • Although you have the legal right to live where you choose, you'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building.

  • If you live in a multistory home, arrange to sleep on the first floor.

  • Being on the ground floor and near an exit will make your escape easier.

Plan your escape

  • Plan your escape around your capabilities.

  • Know at least 2 exits from every room.

  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you can get through the doorways.

  • Make any necessary changes, such as installing exit ramps and widening doorways, to make an emergency escape easier.

Don't isolate yourself

  • Speak to your family members, building manager or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.

  • Contact your local fire department's nonemergency line and explain your needs. They can suggest escape plan ideas and may perform a home fire safety inspection if you ask.

  • Ask emergency providers to keep your needs information on file.

  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.

Source: United States Fire Administration

"Individuals with disabilities should feel as safe and secure in their communities and work environments as individuals without disabilities. Too often, however, the needs of people with disabilities are not considered in emergency planning, despite the fact that the need for such planning has received an increased focus due to recent disasters, both natural and man-made."

-Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor


Below are resources to help you and your employer create emergency preparedness plans.