Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

US Fire Administration: Disability Blog

July 18th, 2012

Post by: Kim Stephens

This tweet intrigued me:

I didn’t know that the US Fire Administration had a disability blog, but this kind of information flow is the reason I adore twitter…but enough about that. The blog post has 3 main recommendations–all of which emphasize personal responsibility:

  1. Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms
  2. Plan Your Escape
  3. Don’t Isolate Yourself

I think this is an interesting point of view, considering that they state: “People with disabilities often are excluded from the development of escape plans.” Shouldn’t, then, the last statement read: “Don’t let anyone isolate you!” The tips they provide are useful in terms of how someone should become their own advocate, but again, completely puts the onus on the individual with the disability:

  • 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 non-emergency line and explain your special needs. They may suggest escape plan ideas and/or perform a home fire safety inspection and offer suggestions about smoke alarm placement and maintenance.
  • Ask emergency providers to keep your special 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.

I fear the USFA blog post was not written by someone who really understands some of the underlying issues. Thoughts?

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