Prevention 1st’s “Safe at Home” individualized home safety program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) drew plenty of interest at the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ Annual Conference last month. People with intellectual disabilities are 4 times more likely to die in a fire than the general population, and their risk increases as they move toward more independent living.
“Many people were surprised to learn how far and how fast the shift to more independent living is moving,” said Bob Crandall, who presented the program to the audience of fire marshals and fire safety educators. Several attendees signed up for more training in the Prevention 1st Safe at Home model, which targets the highest fire risk injuries by addressing both environmental hazards and safety skills.
From 1988 to 2008 there was a 311% increase in adults w/IDD living in residences of 6 or fewer, and the number of those renting or living in their own home has doubled. Along with greater independence, their vulnerability for fire and burn injury is increasing. In New York State, for example, 75% of people with I/DD live semi-independently in noncertified settings—which are not subject to strict fire safety regulations.