Fire safety is a special concern for persons with hearing loss. Read the following precautions that can help save your life or the life of a loved one. Be prepared.
Tips from Cochlear America:
· Register as a person with impaired hearing with your local emergency (911) dispatcher.
· Whether you’re staying in a college dorm, hotel or other facility, be sure to request proper safety accommodations, such as a fire alarm with a built-in strobe light that is ADA compliant.
· Establish an effective alerting system based on your hearing loss needs. Some systems sound a low-frequency alarm, flash a light or even vibrate the bed.
· Take preemptive measures to lower your fire risks by making sure cigarette butts are fully extinguished before discarding, never leaving a flickering candle unattended, and following instructions when using a space heater and clothes dryer
Smoke alarms save lives. But those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing cannot depend on the sound of the regular alarm to alert them to a fire.
People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing should use alarms with strobe (flashing) lights that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory. The alarms for sleeping areas with strobe lights are required to be of a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person.
Most major smoke alarm companies offer alarms with strobe lights. For information on availability and pricing, go to the manufacturers' Web sites. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of smoke alarms that meet U.L. standard 1971 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing include:
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the three keys to proper fire safety are Planning, Practice and Preparation so that you’re never caught helpless in a blaze. Other measures may be appropriate as you deem fit. The main point, of course, is your awareness and precaution. For more information about fire prevention and safety, visit the NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org.