News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents to check they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them in the event of a fire.
According to the UK Council on Deafness, one in six people are deaf or hard of hearing. KFRS has released a short film to coincide with Deaf Awareness Week (6-12 May), highlighting in British Sign Language (BSL) how people can access its free fire safety advice and services.
Where needed, KFRS can provide free home safety visits that give people the opportunity to get invaluable advice about planning escape routes, positioning alarms and ensuring that the correct, working smoke alarm is fitted in your home.
There is also an emergency SMS text message service that allows deaf people (or those with any other additional need that makes the phone difficult to use) to report fire or rescue emergencies.
Last year, KFRS’s community safety team installed specialist deaf alarms in 746 homes while carrying out home safety visits.
Head of Community Safety, Stuart Skilton, said: “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.
There are a whole range of alarms that 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 residents to a fire in their home even if they remove their hearing aid at night.
He added: “Anyone in doubt about the alarm they need should contact our helpline for free fire safety advice. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.
For further information and free safety advice call KFRS on 0800 923 7000 or visit www.3breaths.info.
Note to editors:
The UK Council on Deafness is the umbrella body for voluntary organisations working with deaf people in the UK. Their mission is to assist organisations and the sector as a whole to maximise the positive impact they have for deaf people.