How Fire Warden Training Assists with Evacuation of People with Disabilities

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How Fire Warden Training Assists with Evacuation of People with Disabilities

9 April 2021
 Categories: Environmental, Blog

When a fire threatens the safety of occupants in a commercial building, chaos and confusion can reign, especially when persons with disabilities are involved. Unfortunately, chaos and confusion make it difficult for the more vulnerable people in the building to find a safe place during a fire incident. It is particularly the case in fires where flames move and change direction quickly. Thus, fire warden training is essential in equipping volunteers with skills on the safe evacuation of persons with disabilities. Here is how fire wardens help.

Raise Awareness on Fire Safety Insufficiency -- When fire wardens return to their workplaces after training, they assess the surroundings for fire safety sufficiency concerning people with disabilities. If they discover any gaps, it is their role to raise awareness and suggest potential remedies. For instance, if a workplace lacks emergency aids, such as evacuation chairs and slipmats, fire wardens should inform the chief warden. By raising awareness regarding a building's insufficiencies, fire wardens can guarantee the safe evacuation of people with disabilities.

Individualising Evacuation Plans -- People with vision impairment and those with hearing challenges have unique needs, which must be addressed in a facility's evacuation plan. Therefore, fire wardens must develop a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) unique to every disabled person's safety needs. Fire warden training proves essential in this regard because it eases the process of individualising a PEEP. Upon completing a fire warden training course, employees can introduce features to help people with disabilities evacuate a building with ease. For example, painting the edges of steps in bright colours will help people with vision impairment find their way with minimal guidance from fire wardens. On the other hand, directional flashing lights will help evacuate persons with hearing impairment.

Leverage Colleagues' Abilities -- One advantage of hiring experienced and reputable fire experts for fire warden training is that trainees learn to be creative. Of course, it is crucial to follow the rulebook during fire breakouts, but some scenarios require ingenuity. Since fire wardens are in charge of every person in a facility, it is essential to develop a plan that does not neglect anyone, especially individuals with disabilities. Creative fire wardens have come up with a buddy system, which leverages the abilities of colleagues. For example, the system helps distribute attention to everyone in need of help in a burning building. It pairs colleagues with a disabled person to help them find their way out of a burning building. However, using a buddy system in an evacuation plan is only effective if a 'buddy' is familiar with a facility and knows the fire exit location.

These are important things that people learn at fire warden training programs.