For most of us, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week means making sure your smoke detectors are working. For people with mobility concerns and for wheelchair users, fire safety requires additional preparation and planning. Here are a few tips to help you – or those you care about – be fire-ready:
Fire-Ready Tip 1 – Develop a fire-escape plan so you know what to do. According to an NFPA survey, three-quarters of Americans have a home-fire escape plan, but more than half never practiced it. When crisis happens at home, work, or anywhere you routinely spend time, you don’t want to have to figure out what to do while in a state of panic.
In addition to evacuation routes, the NFPA Fire Prevention Week Campaign focuses on having fully operational smoke alarms in your home so that in the event of a fire, particularly one in the middle of the night, you are made aware soon enough to get out.
Fire-Ready Tip 2 – If possible, plan for the possibility of not being able to reach your wheelchair. Amramp installed a modular wheelchair ramp for a woman who later suffered a fire in her home. She didn't have time to get to her wheelchair, so she held onto the furniture to make it to the front door. She was able to use the railings on the ramp to get to safety.
Fire-Ready Tip 3 – Invest in a wheelchair ramp and other equipment that will withstand high heat. In the case of the woman mentioned above, soon after she made it to safety, the aluminum front door melted. This is a dangerous failing of other ramps on the market that are made of aluminum or wood. In the intense heat of a fire aluminum melts and wood burns. Due to the durable steel that Amramp ramps are manufactured with, once they scraped the melted aluminum off, they were able to dismantle and reinstall the ramp at her new home the day after the fire.
Another Amramp client, who was a veteran, suffered a house fire in Hazelton, PA. He and his wife were able to escape using their Amramp wheelchair ramp provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Another man managed to escape his quickly engulfed home in Fair Oaks, NC, by using the Amramp modular wheelchair ramp provided by his church. His ramp was also dismantled and re-installed at his mother’s house right away after the fire.
Per design standards, wheelchair ramps are a “means of egress” in a fire and should be fireproof. Amramp modular ramps are made of the same steel used in fire escapes and provide a stable, fireproof exit in the case of fire. Contact Amramp for independent test lab data on ramp-fire safety.
Home fires killed an average of eight people every day in 2013; half of these deaths resulted from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. It is crucial to prepare yourself, your family, and your home so that you have the best possible chance to escape a fire should one occur. It is even more vital for wheelchair users and people with mobility concerns.
If you would like to learn more about Amramp’s fireproof modular ramp system
Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598