If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may be more at risk during a fire emergency. Quick action is required when responding to a fire, and being hard of hearing may delay how soon you receive an alert. You must rely on adaptive safety equipment, so the quality and functionality of your system is essential.
Fire Safety Statistics
According to the National Fire Protection Society, “Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.” Fatal fires typically occur when people are sleeping. That’s why it’s so important to have an alarm system that will wake you.
Cigarettes and other smoking paraphernalia are responsible for most home fire deaths. However, most fire injuries are caused by cooking equipment. About one out of every 338 homes report a fire each year. When smoke alarms are working, it cuts the chance of dying in a house fire in half.
Not very many Americans have practiced a fire escape plan. The majority have made a route, but only one-third have one planned and rehearsed. Since the time available to get out of your house in a fire emergency is often five minutes or less, practicing your plan to the point of muscle memory can be the difference between life and death.
Fire Safety Plans
Because timing can be everything in a fire emergency, it is essential to have a fire safety plan and to rehearse it. This issue is so critical that the U. S. Fire Administration has put out a Fact Sheet for the deaf and hard of hearing that has special recommendations.
As far as escape plans, they recommend practicing your escape plan every month. The best escape plans include two ways to exit each room. And every room in the house should be evaluated. It’s important to check your windows to make sure screens can be removed quickly, and the windows don’t stick. Consider putting rope ladders in second story rooms.
If a fire does occur, you should implement your safety plan as quickly as possible. Don’t waste time trying to save property or trying to access other areas of the house. If the home is smokey, stay low. Crawl under the smoke and cover your mouth with your hand. If a door is hot to the touch, don’t open it or attempt to go through it.
Fire Safety Equipment for The Hearing Impaired
Before installing fire safety equipment, you may want to call your local fire department on their non-emergency number to get their advice on where to place your alarms. They will recommend that you install a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm on every level of your home. And once you have alarms installed, don’t forget to test them monthly and change the batteries once a year.
Smoke detectors with strobe lights are a common piece of fire safety equipment for the deaf or hearing impaired. Detectors like the Kidde Talking Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector with Strobe give a bright, flashing signal to warn of smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide. This detector also comes with an audible warning as well. This is important because you need to make sure your detector will alert everyone in the household.
Another excellent choice in fire safety equipment is the HomeAware alerting system . The base system features a 110 dB alarm, bed shaker, and 2-inch scrolling notifications on a master unit display. Optional transmitters such as a smoke alarm transmitter can be added to the base system to ensure you won’t miss any possible fire or carbon monoxide threats. Most importantly, it addresses the problem of house fires at night. While you may sleep through a hallway strobe light at 3:00 am, there’s no way you will be able to sleep through the HomeAware’s bed shaker. Whatever choice you make, ILA wants you to stay safe!