July 16, 2009
Emergencies and the
Hard of Hearing Person!
by: Harriett Porch
¨ Difference in emergency preparedness kits,
quick evacuation kits.
¨ Avoiding hazards (in and outside the home)
in case of quick evacuation.
¨ Changes in smoke alarms.
meetings and events.
Please bring your own R31 receiver or ask to borrow a simple Receiver.
Information: 714 669-0401 Lorraine Fanizza
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Excerpts from US Fire Authority and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-202-508.pdf
Fire and smoke is a universal problem that can be reduced and even prevented through educational efforts. Certain groups are more vulnerable and subsequently at higher risk.
Communication Barriers:For deaf and hard-of-hearing people verbal communication may not be possible and dependent on the person’s ability to see. In the event of a fire, a person’s line of sight may be hampered by smoke, making it difficult or impossible to see to read a person’s lips or hands. Instructions from firefighters may be obscured, which may interfere with rescue attempts. In addition, fire fighters may be wearing breathing apparatus that cover their faces, making lip reading impossible. In the often chaotic environment of a fire, voices and sounds tend to be muffled, further contributing to failure to recognize instructions.
The importance of early recognition of a fire cannot be stressed enough. The USFA considers smoke alarms to be the single most important piece of fire safety technology employed today. Install smoke alarms that suits your needs inside each sleeping area. Strobe lights or vibratory smoke alarms are essential for hearing-impaired people.
• Visual light alarm signals in all areas occupied by hearing-impaired people.
• Vibrating under-pillow alarm signals in bedrooms for deaf or hard of hearing individuals.
• Audible alarms should exceed the average ambient sound levels, but not over 120 decibels.
Note: If your smoke alarms are hardwired (connected to the electrical circuitry) make sure they are also equipped with batterybackups.