Fire service reaches out to the deaf


East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reaching out to deaf and hard of hearing communities during Deaf Awareness Week this week to ensure 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 so as part of Deaf Awareness Week, Dave Sheppard, the borough commander at Eastbourne Community Fire Station is reminding the town’s residents 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.

Dave 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.

“Anyone unsure about the alarm they need should contact East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 177 7069 or via for a free Home Fire Safety Check.

“We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.”

Home Fire Safety Checks offer people the opportunity to get invaluable advice from their local fire and rescue service about planning escape routes, positioning alarms and ensuring that the correct, working smoke alarm is fitted in the home and are available to anyone who is over 65, single parents, disabled/reduced mobility, hearing or sight impaired, smokers or living in rented or social housing.

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