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Sight Impairment

Extra support for those with a sight impairment

Understanding a person’s sight loss and knowing where to go for extra support can ensure your relative, friend or neighbour is safe from fire in their home and would know what to do in the event of a fire, from escaping their home to calling 999.

Your smoke alarms

Conventional smoke alarms work by emitting a loud noise when smoke is detected providing a vital early warning of fire, and therefore aiding escape.

  • If you are blind or have reduced vision, there are additional ways to ensure you would be aware of a fire in your home. Consider placing a brightly coloured sticker on your smoke alarm so it stands out against a white ceiling.
  • Consider fitting a strobe light and vibrating pad system. These alarm systems activate in the same way as other smoke alarms but the light and vibrations aid in alerting the resident.

We recommend you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home (avoiding the kitchen and bathroom) and ask a friend, family member or neighbour to test your smoke alarm every week.

Be prepared - Get out, stay out, call 999

  • You may also want to consider placing a tactile indicator along your escape route to make it easier to find the exit make sure you feel comfortable following them even if you are feeling tired in the middle of the night.
  • Ensure all doorways and corridors are kept clear.
  • ave a plan B. The front door is usually your first option, but have a plan B if plan A is blocked.
  • Keep door and window keys near the exit and within easy reach.

Raise the alarm

  • Ensure you’re able to dial 999 on your landline or mobile, markers can be useful.
  • Make sure your front doorbell is working and is an amplified or vibrating doorbell. So, that a neighbour or firefighter can alert you.
  • Check electrical leads regularly by touch when they are unplugged. If they are frayed or faulty do not plug them in or switch them on.
  • If electrics are giving off a burning smell turn them off and unplug them immediately.

Specialist equipment and advice for blind and partially sighted people RNIB 0303 123 9999

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