If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you are one of over 11 million Americans, who are unable to rely on the life-saving sound of an ordinary smoke alarm. It is crucial that you are aware of the availability of visual smoke alarms or vibrating alarms. Protecting yourself by having a working smoke alarm will improve your chances of a safe escape in case of fire.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, we encourage you to take the following steps to better protect yourself from fire:
* Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a visual or vibrating smoke alarm. Some areas have these alarms available at no cost to the individual.
* Install your visual/vibrating smoke alarm on every level of your home.
* Test your smoke alarm monthly and change the batteries at lease twice a day.
* Do NOT isolate yourself! Make your family members, neighbors, or building manager aware of your fire escape plan and special needs.
* Contact your local fire department and explain your special needs. Firefighters are available to help with home inspections and offer suggestions regarding smoke alarm placement.
* Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
Remember, there is nothing you can do if you don't know there is a fire!