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Fire Alarms for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Written by:
Lisa Sadler
Posted On:
20th December 2022

It is imperative for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to have the correct alarm system installed in their homes to meet their fire safety needs. In accordance with British Standard BS 5446 alarm systems for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing should contain the following:

  • An easy-to-use test button
  • Enough range to cover your house
  • Battery backup for if the mains power fails
  • Fire Alarm Accessories such as vibrating pads/pagers and a strobe light

Conventional fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms emit a loud noise when they sense smoke or detect CO, to provide residents with an early warning of the danger. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing should use fire alarm accessories in conjunction with standard alarms to provide full-circle protection for their homes.

The Best Alarms for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

There are fire alarm accessories that can be used such as vibrating pads and strobing lights that can be interconnected with the alarm system to provide the user with visual and sensory alerts when an alarm is activated.

Vibrating Pillow Pads

Vibrating pillow pads are designed to be placed under the user’s pillow to provide an additional warning when the user is sleeping. When activated by an alarm in the system, the pad emits vibrations in strong pulses to alert the user to the fire or Carbon Monoxide danger.

Strobe Lights

Strobe lights in red or white can be wall-mounted to provide a visual warning when the property’s alarms are triggered.

There are also flashing strobe lights like Aico’s RadioLINK Ei171RF Strobe Light that can be placed in daytime rooms either on surfaces or wall-mounted, and connected via RadioLINK. RadioLINK is wireless interconnection technology that uses Radio Frequency (RF) signals to wirelessly link alarms together.  This is much easier than having to add alarm accessories via a relay module as they have to be hard-wired into the existing alarm system.

The strobe light has a purpose-built lens that offers wide-angle light output for peace of mind that it can be seen throughout the room.

Ei170RF RadioLINK Alarm Kit for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

The RadioLINK Alarm Kit from Aico contains all the necessary alarm accessories including the Ei171RF strobe light, Ei174 Vibrating Pillow Pad and 10M of cable for easy installation.

The strobe light also features an easy-to-use ‘Test’ button on the front of the unit allowing an easy means of testing the strobe, pad and any RadioLINK enabled alarms in the system to ensure your alarms and accessories are in working order for optimum protection.

If using other products that are RadioLINK or RadioLINK+ enabled like the Ei660iRF Multi-sensor fire alarm or Ei208WRF Carbon Monoxide alarm, the RadioLINK technology eliminates the need for cabling between the other alarms in the system and the fire alarm accessories, making installation quick and simple.

Fire Safety Tips for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

There are some recommendations to help ensure fire safety which include:

  •  Position strobe lights within the property at eye level, especially when installed in a communal area, like a dayroom.
  • Set up strobe lights alongside vibrating pads so they can be noticed by users when asleep.
  • Make sure the alarms are tested regularly and everyone in the residence understands how the alarm system operates.
  • If you are unsure of the requirements for your home, most fire departments offer free ‘Home Fire Safety Checks’ where they will advise you on alarm positions, help plan an escape route and ensure your home is as safe as possible.
  • If there was ever a fire, the emergency SMS service allows deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the UK to send a text to 999, where it will be passed to the relevant emergency service.

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