If you or your loved one live with limited mobility, there are some fire safety issues you should know about.

We have put together this page of helpful advice and tips so you can safeguard yourself against fire risks.

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Mobility Issue Fire Safety Advice

If you or someone you live with has mobility issues you may need to take some additional fire safety precautions, as escaping from a fire could take more time.

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Make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm in your property. Test it regularly and if you need help doing this ask someone to help do it for you.

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Easy access alarms, which can be tested from the wall side are available. Visit the Disabled Living Foundation for more information on what products are available to assist.

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Consider fitting a telecare or internal intercom which will allow you to notify someone if you need help in an emergency.

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If you have a wrist or pendant alarm, ensure you wear it. It needs to be easily accessible to you in case of an emergency. Consider keeping a charged mobile phone on you too so you can easily access that if you need to.

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Avoid the temptation to smoke in bed, particularly if you struggle to get out of bed on your own.

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Minimise trip hazards or exit route obstructions. Getting out as quickly and safely as possible is going to be a priority in the event of a fire.

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Plan your escape route. It’s worth considering a plan b too. It’s possible it may be safer to stay where you are if the fire is in a different room to where you are.

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Keep keys easily accessible so you can find and use them in a hurry and possibly in the dark. .

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If you are unable to get out. Call 999 and give the operator your address details. Tell them you are unable to leave the property. They will stay with you on the phone and give you advice.

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Close the door to the room you’re in and block the gap at the bottom to prevent smoke from entering.

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If smoke does enter the room, try and keep low to the ground as the air will be fresher. The smoke will rise up towards the ceiling.

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If possible move to a window and open it to let fresh air in. Try to put something out the window to signal to firefighters where you are. Shout for help. Shout fire!

Battery-powered Scooters and Wheelchairs

elderly man with a mobility scooterIf you have reduced mobility, you might use a battery-powered scooter or wheelchair. It’s important that you charge and use these devices safely to reduce your risk of having a fire. This is especially true for high-powered batteries and vehicles that you might be using to get around.

Please follow these safety tips to help keep you safe:

  • Only charge your batteries using the charger supplied by the manufacturer.
  • Use devices in accordance with their official instructions.
  • Never charge batteries on your escape route.
  • Don’t charge batteries when you’re asleep or out of the house.
  • Make sure you’ve got working smoke alarms – one on each level of your home.

If you need to get rid of an old battery or charger, don’t place these in your household waste. This can cause a fire in your bin or at a waste site. It’s vital that you dispose of batteries responsibly. Contact your local authority to learn the best way to responsibly dispose of batteries in your area.

Plan an Escape Route

If you do have a fire, you must escape as quickly as you can. With reduced mobility, it’s even more important that you plan ahead and know what to do in an emergency. That means which route you’ll take and how you will alert the emergency services after escaping.

Visit our escape route page to learn more.

If you have a Fire

If your smoke alarms sound, get out, stay out, and call us out on 999. Don’t wait to see or smell smoke. It’s more important that you escape safely. We will investigate when we arrive to check everything is safe.

Learn more about what to do if you have a fire.