How the Deaf are Made Aware of Fire Alarms


If you run a business, own a hotel or have a relative or friend who is hard of hearing, you may wonder how you are able to make them aware of important alarms and when to vacate the area. One of the most important alarms is the fire alarm.

Although it is very rare to witness or be caught up in a fire, they can devastate people’s homes, businesses and lives. It is always important to make everyone present in a building aware of a fire alarm as sometimes there isn’t anyone there to let the hard of hearing or deaf know about a fire alarm if they cannot hear it for themselves.

Below is a list of places where a fire alarm may sound and how the hard of hearing a deaf can be made aware of it.

At Home

At home the majority of the hard of hearing and deaf have dogs to make them aware of sounds such as fire alarms and the doorbell. When they are sleeping these dogs are specially trained to stir their owners awake and guide them to the nearest fire exit if a fire alarm were to go off whilst they’re fast asleep. Often those without dogs tend to have loved ones or a house hold member to wake them up if they are sleeping during a fire alarm.

In Public Places

The hard of hearing and deaf who don’t happen to take their dogs with them everywhere will often find they’re not aware of fire alarms unless they can see what other people are doing around them.


In most public places, if an alarm were to sound, the deaf would reply on a member of the general public to make them aware of a fire alarm and to point them in the right direction of the fire escape.

However, in public places such as cinemas and supermarkets where you could easily be on your own browsing an aisle and not notice everyone departing, there are special devices installed to send a text message to those subscribed to this service to allow them to know a fire alarm is sounding and where the nearest fire exist is.

At work

At the office it is always important to make your employees aware of when there is a fire alarm, especially if they are deaf or hard of hearing and may not be able to hear it from where they are. Those deaf employees who may use machinery which gives off vibrations such as a photo copying machines or operating heavy machinery may not be able to hear the fire alarms vibrations over the machinery.

To prevent a deaf employee not being able to hear the fire alarm, work places have the save device installed as most public places, a machine which sends out a text message to those deaf employees subscribed to the service.

At hotels

 Although those hard of hearing may be just able to hear the alarm, they may not be able to hear it when they are asleep. To prevent them being stuck in a fire, hotels are required to install a special vibrating fire alarm for the deaf. This alarm, called a deaf guard, is specially designed to be placed under the guest’s pillow to wake up the guest by vibrating when the fire alarm goes off.


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