Fire Kills campaign makes itself heard this Deaf Awareness Week
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is reaching out to deaf and hard of hearing communities during Deaf Awareness Week (4-10 May) to ensure they have working smoke alarms.
An estimated nine million people are deaf or hard of hearing in the UK, and more than 900,000 severely or profoundly deaf, who would be unable to hear ordinary smoke alarms at night.
So as part of Deaf Awareness Week, organised by the UK Council on Deafness, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is reminding residents of 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 Amy Bailey of the HWFRS 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 alarms in place. Specialist alarm systems provide valuable time to escape from a house blaze. Without it, lives could be lost.
“Anyone unsure about the alarms they need should contact Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service for a free Safe and Well visit. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.”
Safe and Well visits – what are they?
Safe and Well visits offer people the opportunity to get invaluable advice from their local fire and rescue service about planning escape routes, positioning alarms and ensuring that appropriate working smoke alarms are fitted in your home, as well as on a range of other issues.
Although restrictions on some visits may currently be in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we can still offer advice on your needs.