For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, house fires are a very real risk as standard audible smoke alarms are ineffective.
This is particularly relevant for those with cochlear implants and hearing aids when these devices are not worn to bed.
“I’ve got cochlear implants and when I take them out my hearing goes completely,” Tea Gardens resident Alan Mann explained.
Alan has recently had a specialist smoke alarm installed which relies on strobe lights and vibrations instead of sound to alert him of a fire.
“If my wife wasn’t here for some reason I can feel secure now in knowing that I’d wake up in case of a fire,” he said.
The alarm was installed by Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue who strongly support the initiative.
These alarms can cost as much as $500 but a joint initiative between the Deaf Society of NSW and Fire and Rescue NSW is subsidising the cost to $20.
If you experience severe to profound hearing loss or know someone who does you can apply to receive a subsidised alarm by contacting the Deaf Society NSW.
When you are sleeping you don’t always register the smell of smoke, so without an adequate early-warning system you are twice as likely to die in a house fire.
“It gives me and my wife peace of mind to know we have this alarm,” Mr Mann said.