Deafblindness is when a person has both sight and hearing loss. It affects around 400,000 people in the UK. While being deafblind impacts people in different ways, sensory loss can sometimes place you at greater risk of having a fire.
This Deafblind Awareness Week (opens in a new tab), we’re offering advice to help people live safely with visual and audial impairments.
Plan an Escape Route
Do you know how to get out of the house in an emergency?
If you have a fire or other emergency, it’s vital that you can escape to safety.
You should create an escape plan before you need one. Include things like:
- Where you keep your keys are so you can use them to get out.
- How you will get everyone out, including children.
- What device you will use to call for help.
Having a plan – and making sure everyone in the household knows it – can mean the difference between life and death.
Contacting the Emergency Services
If you have a fire or other emergency, there are a few ways you can contact us:
- Call 999 and ask for the service you need.
- Use 999BSL (app or webpage) for those who can sign British Sign Language (BSL). Learn more on the 999BSL website (opens in a new tab).
- Text 999 using the emergency SMS text service (you will need to register your device beforehand).
To register for the SMS text service:
- Send the word ‘register’ in an SMS message to 999.
- You will then receive SMS messages about the service.
- When you have read these SMS messages reply by sending ‘yes’ in an SMS message to 999.
- You will receive a SMS message telling you that your mobile phone is registered or if there is a problem with your registration.
Reducing Fire Risks
There are several proactive things you can do to reduce your fire risk.
Try to reduce clutter in and around your home, such as in the kitchen. This is especially important in the areas next to appliances like toasters and microwaves.
Keep walkways like hallways and doorways clear. These are your means of escape, and you must be able to traverse them without tripping over.
Did you know there are different types of smoke alarms? We can help you find the right type to suit your level of sensory loss.
The standard smoke alarm is fitted in most homes. However, we can also fit a visually vibrating alarm. This piece of equipment can link to a vibrating pad and a flashing light. Combined, these devices can help to alert you of a fire.
We hope this help and advice will help you feel more confident about fire safety. Having these conversations now can make a huge difference in the event of a fire.
If you’re not sure or you wish to discuss your smoke detectors, please get in touch for a free Home Fire Safety Check.
To learn more about Deafblind Awareness Week, please visit the Sense website (opens in a new tab).