Firefighters are asking deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to check that they have effective smoke alarms.
An estimated one million adults in the UK are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm because of hearing difficulties or removal of their hearing aid at night.
As part of this week’s Deaf Awareness Week organised by the Action on Hearing Loss, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding residents of the importance of fitting and testing appropriate smoke alarms to alert people who suffer from hearing loss to a fire in their home.
Alarms designed specifically for them include features ranging from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms to wearable radio-linked pagers.
These specialist alarms can save lives, alerting residents to a fire in their home even if they remove their hearing aid at night.
British Standard BS5446-3:2005, which was amended in 2007, specifies smoke alarm kits for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Products made to this standard give deaf people assurance of quality smoke alarms designed to meet their needs.
Community safety manager Chris Bailey said: “It is vital that people ensure they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them – and that they test them weekly, to make sure they work!
“Many people with hearing loss could be at serious risk if they don’t have the right alarm in place. A specialist alarm system provides valuable time to escape from a house fire. Without it, lives could be lost.”
Anyone in doubt about the alarm they need should contact Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service on 01296 744477 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free home safety check.