Fire safety for people with hearing difficulties
If you, a family member, or someone you care for is deaf or hard of hearing - here’s some practical fire safety advice to consider.
We will also come to visit you in your home to talk to you about specific things you can do to keep safe and in many cases, we will provide free specialist equipment such as hard of hearing smoke alarms.
Book a home safety visit
For advice about staying safe in your home and to arrange a home safety visit contact us (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).
- Call Freephone 0800 05 02 999.
- Text 078 00 00 2476.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Or complete our online referral form.
- If you are deaf or hard of hearing and live alone or with others who are also deaf or hard of hearing, you can get a smoke alarm that uses a strobe light and vibrating pads that are placed under your pillow at night. We can fit these for you during a home safety visit.
- If you are concerned that you will not hear your smoke alarm because you live in a large house, or one with more than one floor, you could ask a qualified electrician to fit linked alarms. This means that when one detects a fire they will all sound.
In an emergency
- In the event of a fire, if it is difficult for you to call 999 yourself, ask someone else to do it for you.
- Textphone or minicom users can call the emergency services on 18000.
Contact 999 by SMS text
- If you cannot make voice calls, you can contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
- Emergency SMS is part of the standard 999 service and is specifically for deaf people or people with a speech impediment.
- To register, text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent.
Plan an escape route
- Think about all possible escape routes in case there is a fire.
- It is a good idea to practise an escape so that you feel confident you could do it day or night.
- Keep a phone in the bedroom in case you need to make an emergency call. If it’s a mobile, keep it charged.
- Make sure all exits and escape routes are kept clear taking into consideration any mobility aids that you use.
- Keep keys where you can find them in case you need them in a hurry, preferably near to your door.
- The best route is the normal way in and out of your home.
- Make sure you know how your house or personal alarm works, including any passwords or codes.
- If you have a key safe outside your property or an access code to the property, it is a good idea to tell the emergency services when calling us in an emergency.
What to do if there is a fire
- Don’t tackle the fire yourself.
- If you can, get out, stay out and call 999.
- If you can’t dial 999 tell someone else to do it for you.
- If you can’t get out, go into a room that has a window and a phone and shut the door.
- Put blankets or towels around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke, then open the window and shout ‘Help Fire’.
- Keep a whistle handy if it’s hard to shout.
- Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID). Call 0808 808 0123. Textphone 0808 808 9000.
- Sense's website supports people who are deafblind. Call 0300 330 9250.
- If you live in rented accommodation see our safety advice for tenants.