More people die in fires in West Virginia than in almost any other state. It doesn't have to happen. This e-Guide is dedicated to Joseph J. Szilvasi who died from smoke inhalation while attempting to escape an apartment fire in Huntington WV on January 13, 2007.
This e-Guide has been developed as a training tool to provide resources and guidelines to keep West Virginians safe; and, to address the specific needs of people with disabilities and the elderly as it relates to fire safety. View the e-Guide index page.
Over 60% of West Virginians live in rural areas. Emergency response to fire is often delayed in rural areas. Even in our cities, house fires are time and again needlessly deadly.
In the safety and prevention section of this e-Guide, we have provided information on how fires are started and how they can be prevented. We have also included a Home Assessment Checklist to help you assess your home and identify areas in your home where you can practice fire safety and prevention.
Statistics show that people with disabilities and the elderly are more likely to die while attempting to escape a fire. We also know that most fires occur when people are sleeping. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by smoke alarms.
In this section of the e-Guide, we have provided information on smoke alarm placement in the home, including a Smoke Alarm Placement Guide, smoke alarm maintenance and your legal responsibilities as they relate to smoke alarms for home owners and renters.
More people survive fires when there is a plan in place. Knowing what to do if there is a fire can save your life.
In this section of the e-Guide, we will help you create a Home Escape Plan so that you can safely escape if there is a fire in your home. We will provide a Home Escape Plan checklist to help you create a clear escape route and resources for creating your own escape plan.
There are many good resources on the Internet to help you learn more about fire safety and prevention. In this section of the e-Guide we will provide links to resources provided through other Web sites including the U. S. Fire Administration, the National Fire Protection Association, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Mountain State Centers for Independent Living.
The West Virginia Fire Safety Resource e-Guide Project has been made possible by a Community-Based Initiatives (CBI) grant awarded to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office from the West Virginia DHHR Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion.
This e-Guide has been developed to be maximally accessible for use by all people with disabilities by Nancy Massey of MasseyNet.com, Inc.