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RNID Warns Against Inadequate Smoke Alarms This Fire Safety Week

Whether you or a member of your family has a hearing loss, or if you're a very heavy sleeper, RNID is warning that a conventional smoke alarm may not be enough to wake you up in the event of a fire.

During Fire Safety Week, (1 - 6 October), RNID, the national charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, is urging everyone to make sure they have the correct smoke alarm for their needs.

A staggering third of people with a hearing loss say they would have difficulty waking up to a conventional smoke alarm, especially since hearing aids are taken out at night. Almost a quarter (23%) say they would struggle to know if the alarm went off during the day. *

Last year, BSI (British Standard Institute) published a national standard on smoke alarms for deaf and hard of hearing people. Smoke alarms that comply with the important new standard must meet demanding performance requirements for all parts of the system including the flashing light, standard audio alert and a vibrating pad, which is placed under the mattress or pillow to shake the user awake when the alarm detects smoke. RNID's BSI compliant smoke alarm has all of these features, including the all important vibrating pad, which sits under your mattress and firmly shakes you awake if smoke is detected by the alarm unit.

Dr Mark Downs, Executive Director of Technology and Enterprise, RNID, says: "RNID urges everyone to think carefully about fire safety, and check all family members would be alerted in the event of a fire in the home. A BSI compliant alarm with a vibrating under-mattress pad is a good investment in your family's safety, particularly if a member of your household has a hearing loss."

* From a survey on Community Equipment and Assistive Technologies undertaken by RNID in March 2005 among 4,000 of the Charity's membership.

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