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Fire Service supports Deaf Awareness Week

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) reaches out to deaf and hard of hearing people during Deaf Awareness Week (2 – 8 May to ensure they have effective smoke alarms in place.

More than 900,000 people in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf and would be unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm at night. So as part of Deaf Awareness Week, HWFRS is reminding residents across the two counties to make sure they fit and test the right smoke alarms for those who suffer from hearing loss in their homes.

A whole range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing, with features ranging from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms to small wearable radio linked pagers. These specialist alarms can save lives, alerting people 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.

Station Commander Alan Haley, from the Community Risk department said, "It is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing ensure they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them – and that they test them regularly, 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 blaze. Without it, lives could be lost.

He continued ".Anyone unsure about the alarms they need should contact the Community Risk department for advice and to see if they would qualify for a free Home Fire Safety Check on 0800 032 1155. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.

For more information please visit www.hwfire.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @HWFireSafety

Issued by:
Emma Roberts
Senior Community Risk Administrator
01905 368238