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Smoke alarms to aid hearing impaired residents in Broken Hill

Published: 26th August 2009

Firefighters from Broken Hill Fire Station today presented representatives from the Broken Hill and District Hearing Resource Centre with 11 smoke alarms specially designed for people with hearing impairments.

The specialised smoke alarms were donated by the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) and Brooks Australia as part of a joint project between the NSWFB and the Hearing Resource Centre called 'Sleep Safe'.

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Superintendent Gary Galwey said the initiative was an important step in assisting people with hearing impairments to be better prepared for a fire in the home.

"If you have difficulty hearing it is important you install a special smoke alarm to ensure you are alerted in the case of a fire," Superintendent Galwey said.

"The smoke alarms could be a life saver for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

"They are designed to alert residents to a fire with a powerful flashing strobe light and a vibrating pad which is placed under their pillow while they sleep and will activate when the alarm detects smoke."

Local Station Commander Daron Lesslie said it was important people with hearing impairments were aware of potential fire hazards in the home and installed special smoke alarms.

"It is important for everyone, especially the elderly and hearing impaired, to not only have working smoke alarms but also a home escape plan so that they know two safe ways out of every room and can get out quickly if there is a fire."

The smoke alarms will be installed in homes in Broken Hill by local firefighters in the coming months.

If you are interested in finding out more about the 'Sleep Safe' project, or to make a donation, contact the Broken Hill and District Hearing Resource Centre on 08 80882228.

Further information about fire safety is available at www.fire.nsw.gov.au