Here are some fire safety tips for those with hearing loss and those with cochlear implants who typically cannot hear at night without their sound processors:
- Have an effective alerting system.
⦿ Select an alarm system that meets your needs and is ADA compliant – this may include one that sounds a low frequency alarm, flashes a light, and vibrates the bed.Register with your local emergency (911) dispatch center and their special needs database as a person with a hearing impairment.
⦿ If you live in an apartment complex, talk with the manager and request reasonable accommodations (i.e. fire alarm with a built-in strobe light that is ADA compliant).
⦿ If you are away at college, contact your school’s Student Services Center or Disability Support Services Office to request reasonable accommodations.If you are traveling, be sure to request an ADA compliant room or at minimum a room with a fire alarm that has a flashing strobe light. Also, let hotel administration know that you are deaf and may not hear a fire alarm go off when sleeping.
- Prevent fire from the start. Stop fire before it starts. Most common causes of easily preventable fire include:
⦿ Smoking – The leading cause of fire deaths at one out of every four fire deaths in the home.
⦿ Alcohol – Involved in about 40% of fire deaths in the home.
⦿ Candles – Remember to clear the area around your candle and put them out.
⦿ Space Heaters – Keep surrounding area clear of paper and items that can burn.
⦿ Kitchens – Do not leave your stove unattended.
⦿ Clothes Driers – Clean drier vents, hoses and pipes of dust and lint.
- Have working smoke detectors. Take the necessary steps to update and maintain smoke detectors, including battery checks and testing your systems.
- Practice! Once you have eliminated the common fire hazards in your home and updated your alert system, try out these devices and practice your fire escape plan.
Remember, when your alert system goes off, evacuate immediately and safely using your fire escape plan.