While the ongoing health emergency affects everyone at every level of the work and school place, it’s important to remember that fire prevention and fire safety must still be practiced. Making sure that emergency egress drills (fire drills that include building evacuation) are practiced are essential to making sure that everyone knows exactly what to do in the case of a fire. However, now that we continue to face a global pandemic where social distancing is required, how do we safely conduct fire drills while still maintaining these practices? We take a look at what you need to know regarding fire drills and COVID-19, and which truly comes first – fire safety or social distancing protocol.
Some organizations have opted to conduct online or virtual training for their fire drills, if they cannot ensure that social distancing protocol will be met during a fire drill. This would be likely in a large school, crowded office space, or where there is little room to evacuate.
The Calgary Fire Department in Alberta states the following when it comes to practising fire drills while maintaining social distancing on the thesafetymag.com:
“If the company or organization cannot ensure social distancing an additional option would be to complete online training as developed by the company or organization and to ensure that records are kept regarding details of training and personnel involved,” the memo continued.
As a society, we have become very used to having to do things differently when it comes to COVID-19 – with fire drills being no exception. It’s important to remember that it is still mandatory to have fire drills. In order to maintain social distancing, it may be necessary to come up with a new system to ensure that everyone, on every floor, is able to have the physical experiencing of evacuating the building in the event of a fire, so that they are confident that they’d know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
Fire Risk Assessments NI tells us their thoughts on how and when to conduct fire drills amid COVID-19:
“I would suggest as an interim measure that each floor or different work areas are evacuated separately. Again, using a multi-storey office building as an example, the tenant on the 2nd floor is advised that we are completing a fire drill on wed 10th at 10am, which will be initiated by a call from the reception / H&S team etc. This tenant / staff on this floor only evacuates to the assembly point. The following week is another tenant etc. This requires a bit more involvement, but can be achieved and is safe.
Completion of your fire evacuation drills are a key part of the fire safety of the staff and allows the staff to be aware of the procedures to be followed if the alarm sounds. The drills are also a legal requirement and you cannot stop completion of the drills due to social distancing etc!”
Maintaining Social Distancing
In order to maintain social distancing when conducting a fire drill, it may be necessary to come up with new methods of social distancing, such as the physical marking of locations outside of schools and commercial buildings, so that there is no question that social distancing measures must continue to be followed.
The Nebraska State Fire Marshal Agency describes methods in order to maintain social distancing while in schools, while conducting mandatory fire drills.
“It is acceptable for a school to use methods to maintain social distancing during fire drills such as floor marking. In order to minimize the number of students, staff and visitors in the hallways and at the gathering areas during the conduct of a fire drill, it is acceptable during the COVID-19 state of emergency to conduct the monthly fire drills in phases so that only certain grades, classrooms or areas participate in any single fire drill. When phased fire drills are conducted, all occupants of the location must participate in a fire drill, and all drill phases shall be complete no later than two calendar days after the first phased drill was conducted.”
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If you’ve returned to the office, you know that procedures have been put in place left, right, and centre, when it comes to combating the spread of COVID-19 within our workplaces. However, in doing so, we must ensure that the protocols we have put in place do not create any additional safety concerns – including a whole new set of fire safety concerns. In this article, we take a look at fire safety tips in the office during COVID-19, and how your office can ensure they’re prepared in the case of an emergency.
Due to the fact that many employees that formerly worked in the office may have opted to work from home, or whose employment situation has changed due to the pandemic, your office may not have maintained their fire warden from pre-COVID. In this case, it’s important to ensure that your office has appointed a new fire warden and that they’re properly trained in the role.
Jason Reid of Canadian Firefighters tells us about the importance of appointing a new fire warden if changes in employment due to COVID requires it:
“Employers within commercial high-rise buildings — and retirement homes — are required to appoint fire wardens and/or supervisory staff within their respective work areas, and train them on the building’s approved emergency fire and evacuation procedures. Their role is vital to ensuring no one is left behind and in providing valuable information to both building staff and arriving fire crews.”
It’s a fact that most office buildings will have a lower population when returning to the office, so it’s important to review new emergency procedures. There may be a new fire safety strategy that needs to be put into place, which can be heavily altered by having fewer bodies to evacuate in the building.
Tetra Tech explains why it’s important to review your commercial building’s emergency procedures, especially in light of lower occupancy:
“It is a requirement for building managers to conduct annual or biannual fire drills. While these may end up being postponed, it is important to review and factor lower occupancy into a building’s emergency procedures. The review should ensure the fire safety strategy is not adversely impacted by COVID-19-related measures. A review should also be seen as an opportunity to clearly communicate with building occupants any changes to the strategy or to reinforce the existing strategy. This will reduce the likelihood of confusion in an actual event.”
There has been much speculation over whether COVID safety or fire safety should be put before the other when it comes to fire drills and office evacuations. The answer to this question is that neither should be put before the other, but ultimately, it is essential to ensure that you are able to get everyone that is present outdoors and unharmed. In order to ensure that your employees are following COVID safety measures, it’s important to make sure that employers continue to educate their staff on procedures they need to be following.
Memic.com explains why employer’s need to ensure that their employees’ safety isn’t compromised, while not risking their safety in the event of a fire:
“To ensure that employee safety is not compromised in the event of a fire, a safer alternative to combating the spread of COVID-19 is to increase awareness of how this virus is transmitted. Encourage employees to take the time to frequently wash their hands and also implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the commercial and residential services we offer, please contact us using our contact form.
Did you know the safety equipment in your workplace needs to be inspected at least once a year? If you’re a building manager or fire marshal, you’re likely already familiar with these rules. But why are annual fire inspections so important? Let’s break down why and how you can set up a safety inspection in your workplace.
In the day to day goings on of a workplace, you are likely not checking every safety system that’s in place. While security departments might go around to do checks, some systems can often be overlooked because they are simply not used as frequently. Emergency exits, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other safety systems are not checked often. This is why a fire inspection at least once a year ensures that these systems work and are not faulty or inactive.
The City of Surrey Fire Service walks through the process of a fire inspection:
“The initial inspection typically occurs shortly after the business licence is issued. The timing of follow-up inspections largely depends on the nature and number of deficiencies discovered at a particular site.
With the building representative present, the inspector will look over the property, identifying deficiencies and detailing them in a written report. A copy of this report is left behind at the site with instructions for correcting any deficiencies found.”
Simply put, by inspecting all of the safety precautions and systems in place beforehand, you can save lives. When you’re in the workplace, you’re probably not constantly thinking of things like health and safety. That’s why it’s up to your health and safety representatives to sort out things like emergency exits, on site AEDs, fire extinguishers, and other aspects that equip a workplace with the right safety tools. In the event of an emergency, they can be life-saving aids, and fire inspections keep you prepared.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner in British Columbia has an extensive document for fire safety training. Here’s an important note on why fire inspections are so important:
“The end result of a fire prevention inspection should:
provide a record of the findings and actions required as a result of the inspections;
produce a property that is safer because the inspection was conducted; and,
inspire an improved attitude towards fire prevention by management and employees.”
Whether you’re a workplace, residential building or home, there are services available for fire inspections. Simply find the fire inspection service that works best for your building’s needs, and request a quote to schedule the inspection.
The inspector will come to the site with a checklist and what to look for. If you want to ensure that all of your safety systems and equipment are in place beforehand, do a once-around the building. Check to see the expiration date on the fire extinguishers and if emergency lights are working, among other things. The more you have prepared beforehand, the better you can communicate with the inspector on your building’s needs.
Here’s our promise for inspecting fire extinguishers in industrial buildings:
Our industrial Fire-Alert professionals across Canada provide complete fire extinguisher solutions. Our fire extinguisher services can address all of your specific fire hazard needs. We will ensure municipal, provincial, and federal compliance to your industrial needs. It is vital that powder used in some extinguishers is disposed of through certified agencies to prevent environmental contamination. We are committed to assisting our industrial and commercial customers to reduce the impact of meeting these legal requirements and make them as painless as possible.
For a workplace, it can be hard to get things done for your small business outside of work. Meetings with consultants and various other meetings are sometimes too much of a hassle.
If you need to get a fire inspection, that often involves getting in touch with professionals and booking a meeting. However, with a mobile fire inspection service, fire inspection professionals can come to you.
If you are planning on calling in a fire inspection service, once you’ve set the appointment, make sure your workplace is ready for the inspection. This means performing your own check to make sure that fire extinguishers, alarms, emergency doors, etc. are all in place.
Keith Frangiamore at Buildings.com also points out that you should have an initial chat with the inspection company before they arrive:
“Meet with the inspector prior to beginning the actual inspection and ask what types of items the inspector will be looking for. Give the fire inspector copies of all of your system or equipment inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) reports. Review these reports with the inspector prior to his/her walkthrough, and let the inspector know that any issues noted previously have been corrected.”
Mobile inspections are also available for residential homes or apartment buildings as well. As the building owner, it’s important to check and make sure all of the safety equipment and alarms are in place before the inspection services come. This will save a lot of time during and after the inspection. Get as much as you can in place so that the inspector can let you know what safety precautions your building or workplace needs to improve on.
The city of Oakville explains why you need a fire inspection service and when:
“Inspections and plans reviews enforce the life safety standards of the Ontario Building Code and Ontario Fire Code. All fire and life safety requirements must be met.
Fire inspections/reviews are required for:
Renovations or new construction building approvals
Private Home Daycare
Complaints of violations and/or a request for a public inquiry into violations
Discovery of violations or hazardous occupancies.”
It is important that fire extinguishers are tested at least once a year in the home and monthly in an industrial or commercial space. During a mobile fire inspection service in the workplace, the inspector will test your fire extinguisher.
We list the recommendations for a fire extinguisher inspection here:
“According to NFPA 10, fire extinguishers in commercial and industrial spaces must be inspected on a monthly basis. This inspection can be done internally by a designated staff member or by a certified fire extinguisher company, like Fire-Alert. On an annual basis, fire extinguishers must be inspected by a certified company.
ABC dry chemical fire extinguishers must be tested every 6 years. A recharge is performed at the 6 year mark followed by a hydrostatic test at the 12 year mark. Co2, Class K (kitchen) and water fire extinguishers must be hydrostatically tested every 5 years. Fire hoses are hydrostatically tested 5 years from the manufacture date and every 3 years thereafter.”
In the workplace, there are plenty of emergency services that need to be kept up to date. After an annual inspection of your fire extinguishers, fire alarms, there may still be some features you can’t forget to check.
Fire exits and emergency lighting need to be part of your regular inspections as well. They can help you in the event of an emergency by properly showing the safest route of exit. In the event of a power outage, emergency lights provide lighting to the building and are imperative in providing visuals during an emergency. Here’s how to Inspect emergency lighting in an office building.
In the event of an emergency or power outage, the emergency lights will automatically be turned on. Most office buildings are equipped with this and it’s important for the building or office manager to check on these services.
Tom Divine at Consulting-Specifying Engineer recommends testing emergency lights once a month:
“Lamps and power sources must be periodically tested to verify that they continue to function in accordance with code requirements. All emergency lighting systems, regardless of their power source, must be tested monthly for a period of at least 30 seconds. For unit equipment, monthly testing typically consists of a short test of the battery and lamp, implemented by a test switch on the luminaire.”
It seems like a simple task, but replacing bulbs is important to the emergency lights functioning. As part of checking the emergency lights, ensure every light turns on and isn’t malfunctioning or dead. As building manager or fire marshal, you should also make sure that extra light bulbs can be easily accessed in the building, so that there are always a few spare bulbs available.
John Bullock at Lux Review explains whose responsibility it is to maintain emergency lighting in the workplace:
“Anyone who has some control over a premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of fire and ensure sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. An employer or other designated responsible person who has control over the premises or activities that take place on the premises, has responsibilities under the Fire Safety Reform Order 2005.”
Most emergency lights rely on the building’s backup generator system, triggered during emergency alarms or a power outage. If your emergency lighting system runs on its own battery power, ensure that the batteries are fully charged and check if they need to be changed. This usually has to be checked at least once a year. It’s also important to check the building’s generator system to make sure that the battery is charged and is able to turn on in an emergency.
Koorsen Fire & Security further explains the important of emergency lighting:
“The purpose of emergency lighting is to ensure adequate lighting is provided when the power supply to the normal lighting fails. Emergency lighting is key in making sure people can exit a building safely in the event of an emergency. Emergency lighting illuminates the means of egress which includes stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, and escalators leading to an exit.”
The best way to check if the emergency lighting system works is through inspections. You can also inspect this during fire test drills. If you need your emergency services inspected in the workplace, contact us using our contact form.
Whether you’re at home or in a workplace, you can’t avoid COVID-19. Most of our lives have now revolved around what practices are best to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus. You may not consider it, but even a routine fire inspection needs to be tweaked before going through your home or office environment.
Here are some simple and effective ways a fire inspection can still be done while actively preventing the spread of coronavirus.
If you’re in a multi-story building or office environment, make sure there’s just one person who is performing the fire inspection.
Not every employee is trained to check all of the fire equipment, so this might be a job for a professional fire inspection service.
Your workplace fire marshal can be a good person to turn to for routine inspections of entrances, exits, fire extinguishers, and other safety tools. In this case, they’ll have to be careful during inspection and sanitize surfaces as they go.
Here’s what we outline on our website as a safe practice to check your fire extinguisher:
Fire extinguishers should be maintained at regular intervals (at least once a year), or when specifically indicated by an inspection. A fire extinguisher inspection is intended to give maximum assurance that an extinguisher will operate effectively and safely. It includes a detailed examination and any necessary repairs, recharging or replacement. It will normally reveal the need for pressure testing (hydrostatic testing) of an extinguisher to ensure the cylinder is safe to use.
If you’re at work during COVID-19, you’ve probably already gotten the sanitization drill. Wiping down surfaces is vital to making sure everything is safe to use in the workplace.
Make sure your office has cleaning supplies and it is accessible to everyone. It’s best to go around at least 3 times a day to wipe down commonly used surfaces. This is important in the event of an emergency where people will need to evacuate. That way, evacuation can be done as safely as possible with a lesser chance of contamination.
The National Fire Protection Association also makes this point about making sure entrances are not only sanitize, but accessible:
“Many buildings have adjusted their entries and lobbies to now require such features as staggered entry, mask deployments and temperature checks. How have these important and pragmatic changes taken people with disabilities into account? The following questions should be considered: Are entries free and clear of obstruction? Is the entry accessible for those using wheelchairs or other mobility devices?”
Calling in a professional fire inspector to perform a routine inspection is often the best route to take. This is especially true if you’re in an office environment.
However, not all companies will be able to provide complete service due to physical distancing rules. Before asking for a fire inspection, call and ask what their policy is during COVID-19.
The Ontario Fire Marshal outlines certain protocols that need to be taken into place during the pandemic:
“Fire Departments should consider on a case by case basis and per local municipal policies during COVID-19 restrictions: To limit fire inspection activities that require entry into buildings to fire safety matters that involve serious risk to life safety, or, fire safety matters that the Fire Chief or their delegate have assessed and deemed to be necessary. Fire inspection related entry into buildings should be undertaken in compliance with any COVID-19 safety protocols adopted by municipalities and in compliance with any additional protocols adopted in buildings where entry is required.”
Working in a retail store provides a lot of hustle and bustle. It can often feel non-stop and it’s easy to forget about simple workplace requirements. But learning the essential health and safety rules, like fire safety and prevention, may just save someone’s life.
Here are some of our fire safety tips for managers and employees in a retail store.
This is a given, but knowing where entrances and emergency exits are is crucial in the event of a fire or other emergency. Employees need to not only be aware of these exits, but they must also be trained on it. Have emergency exits labelled according to your country’s safety codes.
This goes hand in hand with making sure emergency exits are labelled. Fire Alarms should be labelled and employees should be familiar with their locations. These alarms should also be accessible to all employees.
FCF Fire & Electrical in Australia highlights the importance of having the right safety equipment installed:
“The law not just requires for certain types of business fire safety equipment to be installed after a fire risk assessment, but it also requires that it’s suitably labeled and are easy to access. Employees should be completely trained on how to utilize the fire safety equipment so they are going to be appropriately prepared should a fire break out in the retail store. With the correct equipment and safety measures, customers and employees may be kept safer.”
An emergency exit plan needs to be posted at emergency exits and made accessible to all employees working in the space. Consider where employees spend most of their time on the retail floor and let them know what their best route of action to take is if there is an emergency.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety outlines what needs to be included in a workplace fire safety plan:
“Plans should be specific to the property or business. Conducting an audit or review of the property or business will help identify factors that could affect fire safety. Items in this audit include site layout, points of entry/exit, roadways, use of the building, where and how items are stored, how items are used, water or fire department connections, alarm/sprinkler systems, and many other factors.”
Every workplace will have a designated fire marshal. They are a go-to source for any questions regarding locations of fire exits, fire extinguishers, and emergency evacuation plans.
At Fire Alert, we can provide you with excellent service when it comes to fire inspections. We can also provide you with the right fire preparedness equipment, like fire extinguishers.
Trained fire safety experts have performed many inspections and know how every zone and space can be fitted to safety standards. That’s why if you’re unsure of how to follow fire safety protocol in your retail space, it’s important to get a fire safety inspection from a trusted expert. They can also provide your team with fire safety training as well.
Audit company Compliant IA lists the following questions to ask when checking on evacuation routes:
“Do all fire doors close properly?
All fire doors and exits un-obstructed?
Emergency exit doors equipped with panic hardware?
All exit signs un-obstructed and clearly visible?
Exits signs are illuminated and un-damaged?
Are all emergency exits as per the evacuation plan, un-obstructed?
Hallways are as per the evacuation plan, un-obstructed?
Are all stairwells as per the evacuation plan, un-obstructed?
Is emergency lighting in place throughout emergency exit routes?”
Working in a restaurant setting has a lot of obstacles to overcome. There are plenty of routine inspections to handle on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.
A restaurant kitchen is fraught with safety hazards and staff need to make sure that there’s the right safety protocol in place to keep everything in order. This goes especially for fire safety. Kitchens are naturally going to be prone to fire safety issues and that’s why it’s necessary to have the right rules in place to avoid and prevent any accidents. Here are some easy tips you can follow to ensure your restaurant is following safety standards.
Performing a routine fire inspection is a must for any workplace, especially for restaurants. A restaurant setting can be unpredictable at times because equipment can fail or malfunction and potential accidents can happen.
The best course of action to combat this is to be as prepared as possible for any possible scenario. The first step to this is prevention, and this can be done through routine inspections. Check equipment to see if it’s properly set up and clean, and check that all fire safety equipment is up to date and in the right place.
Markel Insurance indicates these fire prevention tips when performing routine inspections:
“Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment, and watch for hazards like frayed cords or wiring, cracked or broken switch plates and combustible items near power sources.
Have your exhaust system inspected for grease buildup. The NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume cooking operations and semi-annual inspections in moderate-volume operations. Monthly inspections are required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment, like wood or charcoal-burning ovens.”
All employees in a restaurant should be wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This means supplying all of your employees with the uniforms that will protect against burns, spills, cuts, and scrapes.
Working in a kitchen and near any sort of hardware with heat, water, or sharp objects, PPE goes hand-in-hand with giving employees the right training. If employees are fully trained on how to use hardware like a grill or stove, then they need to be equipped with the right PPE while they’re using it. This acts as a first line of defence against any potential accidents that could happen.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety points out that wearing the right PPE is important:
“It is also important to remember that wearing the right PPE is important. PPE does not reduce the workplace hazard nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer. Simply having Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available is not enough.”
Your restaurant business should have its own set of safety rules in place. Once you do, it’s important to also check with the building safety rules as well.
Cross-reference these rules with your own business and see if there’s anything you may have missed. Often, restaurant buildings are rented by the business owners and naturally, not everyone is as familiar with the building. There may be certain rules and protocol in place already. Plus, when planning your evacuation plans, there could already be one outlined by the building manager.
The city of Red Deer, Alberta has a great document highlighting what fire safety protocol needs to take place in an emergency, and is a great example to follow in your own workspace. Here’s an example:
“A Fire Safety Plan shall include:
- a) The emergency procedures to be used in case of a fire, including
- Sounding of the fire alarm,
- Notifying of the fire department,
iii. Instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds,
Evacuating occupants, including special provisions for persons requiring assistance,
Confining, controlling and extinguishing the fire.”
For any office environment, it’s important to be well-equipped to handle anything that comes your way. This goes for any emergency or accident that may happen in the workplace, especially fire emergencies and incidents.
Offices and HR departments have trained their employees on fire safety training as well as general health and safety training, which is a great starting point. Training equips people with the right knowledge to prevent any workplace hazards. In addition to training, there’s also plenty of tools you can equip your office with that’ll help you be prepared in an emergency. We’ll outline three easy emergency preparedness tools to have in your office.
Making an emergency evacuation plan is vital to ensuring employees have the right knowledge of what to do in an emergency. Be sure to consult with fire professional experts, the building manager, and the office manager to make this emergency evacuation plan.
After a plan has been made, it should be posted as a map and readily available to employees. This means posting the map at necessary entrances, fire exits, and making it available to people near their desk or on your online computer system.
Ready.gov says that it’s best to start with an emergency preparedness plan and outline it in the workplace:
“At the very least, every facility should develop and implement an emergency plan for protecting employees, visitors, contractors and anyone else in the facility. This part of the emergency plan is called “protective actions for life safety” and includes building evacuation (“fire drills”), sheltering from severe weather such as tornadoes, “shelter-in-place” from an exterior airborne hazard such as a chemical release and lockdown. Lockdown is protective action when faced with an act of violence.”
A fire extinguisher is a first line of defence in the event of a fire. While a fire alarm and smoke detector are also important tools to have, a fire extinguisher can directly help someone who could potentially put out a fire.
Most fire extinguishers are equipped to handle small flames until fire services arrive on scene. It could even help someone escape a growing fire by clearing a pathway for them. There are plenty of reasons why you need to have a fire extinguisher in your workplace, and that’s why it’s mandatory in all buildings, even residential homes.
While almost all fire emergencies involve evacuating the building, it’s important to equip your office for other emergencies as well. If there is a minor or major workplace injury and you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive, a first aid kit can be a life-saving tool.
First-aid kits usually include band-aids, gauze, rubbing alcohol, among other tools that provide quick fixes until further help arrives. It’s best to decide what first aid kit to buy by assessing the size of your workplace and what kind of potential hazards there are. From there, you can look into what your first-aid kit should be equipped with in the office.
Pickering Safety says it’s important to keep a first aid kit in the workplace to decrease the risk of health complications:
“A well-equipped first-aid kit, in most cases, can prevent further complication with the injury or medical condition. Keeping a medical kit handy can be cost effective because it’s less likely a wound treated immediately with a first-aid kit will require complex attention in the future.”
For anyone, fire safety and prevention is an important way to feel safe at home. It gives you the tools and education you need in the event of a fire.
Being able to react quickly to any emergency situation means having the right tools in place in your home, like fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, among other things.
For seniors, the same rules need to be applied, with a focus on accessibility. It may be more difficult to indicate when there’s an emergency if you’re an older adult living alone. Here’s some easy tips for fire prevention for seniors.
For anyone who may need accessible doors and exits for any reason, it’s important to regularly check that emergency exits are accessible. This means checking that all doors and exits are working.
If someone is unable to walk or uses a mobility device, consider what alternate exits they can take. For example, if there’s a fire blocking the main door, what is the second door that is accessible to someone who uses a mobility device such as a wheelchair? Have a few fire exits in mind and indicate them with stickers or labels if necessary.
The Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General offers these tips for older adults when around the home:
Don’t reach for danger! Wear tight-fitting or rolled-up sleeves when cooking and don’t reach over a hot burner. Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking.
Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
Ensure items that can burn are one metre away from space heaters.
Avoid overloading the electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection.
Chances are if you live in any house or building, smoke alarms will already be installed. If that’s the case, routinely check their battery every month to make sure they’re still working.
For someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, installing a visual smoke alarm can provide an alarm to indicate a fire emergency. Simply install it in the applicable rooms and a light will flash to indicate the smoke alarm has gone off.
The National Fire Protection Association explains one device that can work for the deaf and hard of hearing:
Smoke alarms and alert devices, called accessories, are available for people who are deaf. Strobe lights throughout the home are activated by smoke alarms and alert people who are deaf to fire conditions. When people who are deaf are asleep, a high-intensity strobe light along with a pillow shaker or a bed shaker can wake them up and alert them to fire conditions.
Fire drills aren’t just for school and the workplace. In addition to having the right equipment and tools necessary for fire emergencies, it’s important to educate anyone on what to do in the event of a fire.
For seniors, this means having an escape plan in place and actively going through it. In the event of a fire, figure out where all the exits are. If one exit is blocked, learn what other path to take. Familiarize yourself with how to use a fire extinguisher and how to detect fire in another room.
The Canada Safety Council explains why making an escape plan is so important:
Many seniors still depend on escape routes that were planned when the kids were young. Update these plans with their current capabilities in mind, and practice with them. Make sure there are two ways out of each room. Keep hallways and stairs uncluttered. Instruct seniors to call 911 from a neighbor’s house, and not to go back inside their home. If they cannot leave on their own, they should still dial 911. Place a telephone beside the bed, as well as slippers, house keys, eyeglasses and a flashlight.