Fire Alarms for the Deaf

In my first year in college, I walked in my dorm room to see building maintenance working on the ceiling. It turned out the university sent them to install a visual fire alarm. That impressed me because I didn’t request it and I never had one while growing up.
Whenever the fire alarm went off, I quaked in my shoes (I never wore boots). You see, my grandparents’ house caught fire when I was five while I visited them. Grandma and I were playing Casino or one of many card games we played together. We could see the little walkway to the kitchen from the formal dining room where we sat. It glowed.
Somehow we knew to get out (or maybe Grandpa yelled to Grandma and I didn’t hear him). We darted (well, Grandma probably moved faster than snail speed) away from the kitchen walkway to the other doorway to the front door. After that, I sat on the neighbors sidewalk while the firemen did their job.
So all these years, I knew fires could happen to anyone. Whenever alone at night, I turned into a frightened little girl knowing I wouldn’t be able to hear the alarm.
The Dallas Fire-Rescue department (jpg letter) installs smoke detectors for people with hearing impairments. The fire alarm monitor includes smoke alarms, receiver, and bed-shaker. So contact your city’s fire department to see if they offer a service.
If you build a new house, see about getting such an alarm installed. The way our fire alarms are set — the security company couldn’t add a visual fire alarm for us. Trying to see if the city’s fire department can help. Stay safe!


    • Robert Reineck on August 28, 2008 at 7:28 am
    • Reply

    I wish that our city, Sheboygan, WI provide similar services for the deaf and hard of hearing with fire alarms and the like. WE called the local fire department about it. We were told that t hey do not provide this kind of service for our deaf and hard of hearing community. What a shame! Is there way that your office can contact them about this wonderful service in your community?

    • Meryl on August 28, 2008 at 7:44 am
    • Reply

    My suggestion is to have someone from your city contact the Dallas Fire Department. Their phone number is on the bottom of the jpg letter.

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