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London firefighters raise awareness of fire alarms for the deaf

Most of the deaf people become victims of fires as they are not able to hear fire alarms
Vibrating and flash fire alarms are helpful for deaf and hard hearing people to warn against fires

Firefighters are using Deaf Awareness Week to raise awareness of specialist smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing, which flash or can be wired up to vibrating pads in pillows, as well as sounding an alarm.

Without a smoke alarm, deaf and hard of hearing people run the risk of dying in silence, warned London's firefighters today, ahead of Deaf Awareness Week (28 June - 4 July).

There are over a million deaf or hard of hearing people in the capital, who are at risk of being injured or even killed in a fire if they don't have smoke alarms. Firefighters are using Deaf Awareness Week to raise awareness of specialist smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing, which flash or can be wired up to vibrating pads in pillows, as well as sounding an alarm. London's firefighters can fit these alarms for free in people's homes where needed.

Andy Hickmott, London Fire Brigade's Assistant Commissioner for Community Fire Safety, said: "Smoke alarms are absolutely vital you're more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you haven't got one."  "We offer these specialist alarms for free, so there's no excuse for anyone in London to die in silence because they've not got an alarm." Most fires in the home happen during the night so it's all too easy for people who are hard of hearing to sleep through a normal smoke alarm, especially given that most people take their hearing aids out at night.

Deaf Awareness Week will try to uplift the fire safety standards for the deaf

Firefighters can fit free smoke alarms, including specialist alarms for the hard of hearing, as part of a free home fire safety visit. During a visit, firefighters visit people's homes, help them spot any potential fire hazards and show them what to do to reduce or prevent the risk of fire. Firefighters aim to carry out these visits at the homes of the capital's most vulnerable people, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. For further information on home fire safety visits, call the Brigade for free on 0800 028 44 28 or visit the following website.

In addition to highlighting specialist smoke alarms and home fire safety visits, Brigade staff will be educating children about deaf awareness and fire safety. The Brigade's Schools Team will deliver life saving advice on deaf awareness as part of their usual fire safety lessons. During the week the team will visit around 40 schools and will deliver fire safety education to around 3,500 children. They will teach children ways in which deaf and hard of hearing people can be alerted to a fire. 

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