Firefighters are using National Deaf Awareness Week (May 6-12) to ensure people who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right smoke alarms in their homes.
West Sussex 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 homes.
A range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing, including an under-pillow pad that vibrates when the smoke detector is activated.
Where appropriate, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service can fit radio-linked smoke alarms connected to 24-hour operator-monitored centre, which is automatically alerted should the smoke alarm go off ensuring that a 999 call is placed to the Fire Service.
Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Jackie Boyle, said: “We know there are a number of people in West Sussex who can’t hear or respond to an ordinary smoke alarm.
“It is vital that those people have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them and give them that valuable time to escape from a house fire.
“Some people wrongly assume that this specialist equipment will be expensive - but West Sussex Fire service does not charge for Home Fire Safety Checks or any of the detection equipment fitted. We always prioritise those who may be a higher risk of injury from fire.
“Anyone in doubt about the alarm they need or who would like to request a Home Fire Safety Check can contact our Safer Communities team.
“During a Home Fire Safety Check we can advise you on planning an escape route, positioning alarms and, of course, ensure that the correct working smoke alarm is fitted. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible so call us on 01243 642879.”