Hearing loss
Safe and Sound

Hearing loss

Extra support for those who are deaf or hard of hearing

Your smoke alarms

Conventional smoke alarms work by emitting a loud noise when smoke is detected, providing the vital early warning of fire, and therefore aiding escape. 

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, there are additional ways to ensure you’d be aware of a fire in your home. Consider fitting a strobe light and vibrating pad system. These alarm systems activate in the same way as other smoke alarms, but the light and vibrations aid in alerting the resident. 

People who are deaf or hard of hearing need additional ways of making them aware the alarm has been activated, including vibrating pads and flashing strobe lights.

The alarms can be bought from Blue Watch, the Chief Fire Officers Association’s home safety scheme. 

British Standard BS5446-3:2005 specifies smoke alarm kits for deaf and hard of hearing people. Products made to this standard give deaf people assurance of quality smoke alarms designed to meet their needs.

For further information about BSI standard smoke alarms for deaf and hard of hearing people, please contact RNID Products on telephone 0870 789 8855 or visit the RNID's shop.

For information on deafness and hearing loss please contact RNID on 0808 808 0123.

We recommend you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home (avoiding the kitchen and bathroom) and ask a friend, family member or neighbour to test your smoke alarm every week. 

If you or someone you know would like a Safe & Well, home fire safety visit please click here: 

Be prepared - Get out, stay out, call 999

  • place helpful indicators along your escape routes and make sure you feel comfortable following them, even if you’re feeling tired in the middle of the night
  • make sure all doorways and corridors are kept clear
  • have a plan B. The front door is usually your first option, but have a plan B if plan A is blocked
  • keep door and window keys near the exit


Raising the alarm

Register for the SMS 999 service, which will link you automatically to the emergency services.

  • to register text ‘REGISTER’ to 999
  • you will get a reply – then follow the instructions


Make sure your front doorbell is working and is an amplified, flashing or vibrating doorbell. So, that a neighbour or firefighter can alert you. 

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