West Sussex fire service offers advice to deaf and hard of hearing people

WEST Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reaching out to deaf and hard of hearing communities to ensure they have effective smoke alarms.

An estimated one million adults in the UK are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm because of hearing difficulties or the removal of a hearing aid at night.

As part of the UK Council on Deafness Deaf Awareness Week, which runs next week, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding local residents of the importance of fitting and testing appropriate smoke alarms to alert them to a fire in their home.

Community risk manager Kathy Burke said: “It is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing ensure they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them, and that they test them weekly, to make sure they work”

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.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is passing on vital fire safety information by linking up with the local Action for Deafness organisation.

Firefighters from Shoreham will be on hand from 11am - 3pm, Tuesday through to Friday at the Action for Deafness Centre in Rowlands Road, Worthing where they will be on hand to give advice and tips on smoke alarms, fire safety in the home and Home Fire Safety Checks for the elderly and vulnerable.

Firefighters from Haywards Heath are hosting a similar event at the Action for Deafness centre in Hazlegrove Road, Haywards Heath to talk the local community about any safety concerns they may have and offer on the spot practical advice.

Fire safety advice is free and easy to access from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Safety Team on 01243 642879 or at www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire