Every year, scores of people get killed or injured by building fires across the globe. The risks related to fires are unique when it comes to people living with disabilities. In the event of a fire, people with disabilities face challenges that further increase the risk of death and injury. Without a helping hand, an individual with a disability is likely to be caught up in an emergency and unable to escape the building. Furthermore, hearing impaired persons may not be aware of an ongoing fire incident, and thus, they may not take the immediate action needed to get to safety. Here are some of the essential tips that commercial building managers should know about safety alarms for persons with disabilities.
Escape Plan – The regular escape plan during a fire emergency should also be applied to people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired. Have all visually impaired persons be included in the routine fire emergency drills. One recommended approach when conducting such an escape plan is to use a service animal for assistance. Also, as a commercial building manager, have proper guidelines that allow such individuals to occupy lower floors, probably facing the exits. Procedures such as crawling should also be incorporated in your emergency routine.
Special Alarms – There are various types of alarms to alert visually impaired persons of an imminent risk of fire. These gadgets made specifically to cater for their needs can be ideal for your building in case of a fire incident. The smoke alarms, for example, emit low decibel sound that does not burden the remaining senses of a visually impaired person. High decibel alarms are detrimental because they can easily disorient a visually impaired individual, causing them to be caught up in the very fire that they aim to escape. Install a smoke alarm, which pauses between sequences in order to enable the person to hear instructions. For the deaf, you can install flashing alarms that are equipped with vibration capability.
Backup Battery – Most building managers forget or deliberately ignore to back up their mains-powered fire alarm systems, even when they know that it might constitute a safety violation in some jurisdictions. If you have alkaline batteries for your back up, charge them at least once every year. For the rechargeable lithium option, recharge according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Moreover, regular inspection and servicing by a professional electrician will help you troubleshoot any problems related to alarm batteries. Therefore, when the batteries are in good shape, people with disabilities will not be vulnerable to fire hazards.
For more information, contact local professionals like SPS Fire and Safety.