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Campaign makes itself heard!

Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service are asking residents who may be deaf or hard of hearing to ensure they have effective smoke alarms

– this is just one of the messages being delivered as part Deaf Awareness Week (2nd - 8th May).

An estimated one million adults in the UK are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm because of hearing difficulties or removal of a hearing aid at night11RNID estimate, 2006. As part of the UK Council on Deafness’ Deaf Awareness Week, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding residents of the importance of fitting and testing appropriate smoke alarms to alert them to a fire in their home.

A whole range of alarms designed specifically for the hard of hearing, from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms to small wearable radio linked pagers. These specialist alarms can save lives, alerting residents to a fire in the home even if an individual has taken their hearing aid out at night.

In 2010 Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out over 10,000 home fire safety checks, 138 of those were for residents who were deaf or hard of hearing.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Gary Phillips says, “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, and without it lives could be lost.”

If residents are concerned about a friend or relative, then they can call 01926 466282 or log onto http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue to apply for a free home fire safety check.

Home Fire Safety Checks offer residents the opportunity to receive invaluable advice from their local fire and rescue service about planning escape routes, positioning smoke alarms and ensuring that the correct, working smoke alarm is fitted in your home.