If you have a disability, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are more likely to have a house fire.
However, there may be some extra advice you need to keep you safe, depending on your individual circumstances.
We offer free Home Safety Checks (HSCs) to people who people who are deaf or hard of hearing; during our visit we will assess the need for a specialist alarm and offer advice about keeping safe at home.
Tips if you have hearing difficulties
Firstly, we have a text line for deaf and hard of hearing communities to book a visit. Please text 07776 225 696. Start your text with ‘HSC’ and then give your name and full address.
We also urge people who are unable to make a voice call to 999 to register their mobile phones with the emergency SMS service. This allows them to text an emergency call to any of the UK’s emergency services.
To do this they should text ‘register’ to 999 and then follow the instructions received. Or for further information visit www.emergencysms.org.uk .
Once registered the person can make an emergency call by sending a text to 999.
Our top tips are then:
- Consider getting a smoke alarm which uses a strobe light and vibrating pads
- Alternatively, consider linking smoke alarms so that when one goes off, they all go off
- In the event of a fire, if it is difficult for you to call 999 yourself, ask a neighbour to do it for you
- If you have specialist equipment, such as a text phone or minicom, you can contact the emergency services on 18000
Some of our main fire safety information is available in British Sign Language, which you can view below
Tips if you have sight or mobility difficulties
- Put a coloured sticker on your smoke alarm if you have trouble seeing it to test it
- Consider fitting bump-ons (also known as plastic blisters) to appliances as a way of making sure they are switched off properly
- Unplug and then check electrical leads regularly by touch – if they are frayed or faulty don’t plug them in or switch them on
- If electrics are giving off a burning smell turn them off and unplug them immediately
- You may also want to consider placing a tactile indicator along your escape route to make it easier to find the exit
- If it is difficult to test your alarms ask somebody to do it for you. You can also get remote controlled or easy access alarms, which can be tested from the wall rather than the ceiling – The Disabled Living Foundation can provide more information on these products
- If you have trouble moving around, consider fitting an intercom which will allow you to alert someone in the event of an emergency
- Make sure you have easy access to any mobility aids you may need, such as a walking stick