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Fire Alarms for People with Disabilities are Available

LISTEN: Rhona Campbell explains how Vision PK can help people who need tactile alarms

A Highland Perthshire charity is urging people who are deaf to install fire alarms in their homes.

Vision PK is a Perth based charity who specialise in helping those with sensory impairments. Their goal is to enhance the quality of life and promote the continuing independence of the visually and hearing-impaired people of all ages living in Perth and Kinross.

This comes ahead of the Scottish Government’s February 2022 deadline that all homes must be fitted with an interlinked system that includes a fire alarm in the room used most often during the day, an alarm in every hall or landing and heat monitor in the kitchen. Homes with carbon fuelled systems must have a carbon monoxide detector fitted.

Rhona Campbell, Hearing Loss Support Worker, from Vision PK said:

“I’ve met a lot of people in the community who are anxious about what the changes in the legislation mean to them and how they can get fire alarms suitable for people who have hearing loss.

“There are some great alarms available out there that don’t rely on sounds to alert people in the home to a fire.

“There’s also a lot of help available if you are older or disabled so you don’t have to struggle through this by yourself. And remember, if you’re renting, you’re entitled under the Equality Act to request changes to your home so you’re not at a disadvantage. Deaf Friendly Fire Alarms are part of this.”

Following the Grenfell tragedy where 72 people lost their lives’ The Scottish Government passed legislation to increase fire safety in homes to help prevent further accidents.

Homeowners are responsible for ensuring their homes have the proper alarms.

If you rent your property, the landlord or housing association are responsible for installing and maintaining them.

The new standard fire alarm does not require complex installation and can be fitted easily by homeowners and run on a battery-operated system.

Rhona concluded:

“It is also important for people to know that they don’t have to have the new smoke alarm system hard wired in.

“You can get the systems that are battery operated and still meet all the legislation and they can either just be stuck to the ceiling or with two screws to put in the ceiling. You don’t have to have an election to come round and hard wire a system in, you know you can if you want, but you need to bear in mind that that would need to be checked annually by the electrician.

“If you have the battery-operated ones which last for 10 years, you would just do regular checks yourself by pressing the button to make sure all the alarms were working.”

For more information got to https://visionpk.org.uk/fire-alarms/ or you can contact Rhona at VisionPK by calling 01738 626 969

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