People who are deaf or have hearing loss are being encouraged to seek expert fire safety advice as Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) supports Deaf Awareness Week 2018.
Running from today, May 14 to May 20, the week is co-ordinated by the
UK Council on Deafness to raise awareness of deafness and the challenges faced by people who have hearing loss, which affects one in six people in the UK.
As part of the week, NFRS is highlighting the importance of people with hearing impairment having the right kind of smoke alarms fitted, and the need for every household to have an escape plan.
Community safety officer Jo Gouldson says: “We’re proud to support Deaf Awareness Week 2018, and want to make sure everyone who might need extra support around home fire safety knows we’re here to help.
“If you have hearing loss, or care for someone who does, it’s vital to fit and regularly test specialist smoke alarms to provide protection and early warning should a fire break out. Alarms which flash or vibrate will help to alert you even if you remove your hearing aid at night.
“Our free home fire safety checks cover everything from hazard spotting to smoke alarm options, locations and making an escape plan so you can get straight out safely in an emergency. Please contact us to request a visit so we can help keep you and your home as safe as possible.”
free home fire safety check here or call 01604 797 000.
Staying safe with assistive technology
Through its home fire safety checks and the Safe and Well scheme, which helps vulnerable and older people stay safe and independent at home, NFRS can make referrals to assistive technology supplier Olympus Care Services.
Assistive technology team leader Pedro Santos says: “Assistive technology is anything which allows someone to perform a task in a safer way and remain independent, such as zimmer frames or personal alarms.
“We focus on electronic assistive technology, and if someone is deaf or has hearing loss we would look at alarm products which have flashing lights or vibrate, such as a smoke detector linked to a vibrating pillow pad to wake them up in the event of a fire.
“We also have a pager which can be linked to a range of sounds around the home, from baby monitors to smoke alarms and the doorbell, which indicates to the wearer which is sounding. Some products can also be linked to a 24-hour monitoring centre to make sure help is on hand if required.”
As well as referrals from NFRS, requests for assessment can also be made direct to Olympus by individuals, relatives, carers and healthcare professionals.
Pedro adds: “Our assessments take into account personal circumstances and requirements so we can tailor the best solution for you.
“Sometimes people can be scared by the thought of assistive technology but lots of our equipment is passive, so you can carry on with your normal routine knowing it’s there in the background helping to keep you or your loved one safe.”
Request an Olympus assessment here or call 01604 362 292 or 0300 126 100