Fire Risks for the Blind of Visually Impaired   [open pdf - 355KB]

"Blind or visually impaired people are faced with many challenges, not the least of which is personal safety. Interaction with an environment one cannot see creates potential health and safety hazards. As a result, blind or visually impaired people are at increased risk of injury and death in the event of a fire. Depending on the severity of vision loss, they may be more likely to ignite a fire accidentally through common household activities, while they are less likely to extinguish or escape one. Further, a blind or visually impaired individual is highly vulnerable to sustaining burns by attempting to suppress a small fire. Practicing fire safety is the most effective means for a blind or visually impaired person to improve his or her chances of surviving a fire. For example, by planning and practicing an escape plan, a blind or visually impaired person can escape to safety, in the event of an actual emergency, with little time lost searching and feeling for an exit. The general fire safety tips that are targeted at the seeing population also address the needs of the blind or visually impaired. Unfortunately, blind or visually impaired people often have been overlooked by public fire education campaigns. Innovative mechanisms by which to disseminate these life-saving messages must be sought in order to raise awareness and foster fire safety practices in the blind and visually impaired community."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov
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