Fire safety tips for people living with a hearing impairment

Fire Risk Management Officer Nick Linton has a cochlear implant, and specialises in fire safety for people with disabilities.


He shares some tips for cochlear implant users to keep fire safe;

  1. The only thing that will save you from a house fire is a WORKING smoke alarm, not the smoke alarms in your drawer that you haven’t put up yet. Please install your smoke alarms today.

  2. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, every hallway and every lounge.

  3. If you are ever unsure about how to put out a small fire or you are not confident dealing with it yourself, call 111.

  4. You will not be charged for the call-out of a fire truck. If you are ever concerned about a fire, call 111.

  5. If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, you will be eligible for a free home fire safety visit. Call 0800 NZ FIRE (0800 693 473) to arrange an appointment.

  6. There are a number of specialised smoke alarm systems available for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms have extra features, such as: - Extra loud and/or lower pitch alarm sounds - Flashing strobe lights - Vibrating devices Ideally, you will have hard-wired, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms fitted with bed-shakers, strobe lights, pagers or a combination of these. However, this may be too expensive. The following organisations can advise on the most appropriate options available for you: - Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand - Life Unlimited - Blind Low Vision NZ - Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

  7. Deaf and hard of hearing people who have difficulty using a phone, can register to join the 111 emergency TXT service. This is a nationwide service available to registered users wherever there is cellphone coverage. Registered users can contact the emergency services (Police, Fire and Ambulance) via text messaging on their cellphones.


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