Wednesday 6 May 2009

I am not alone

Did you know that there are an estimated one million adults in the UK who are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm!?


And, according to the Salisbury Journal, Wilshire Fire & Rescue service is urging people to get the right smoke alarm fitted in their home.

Burning buildings are one of my worst fears – I live on the top floor of a block of flats and my neighbours are prone to mad, drunken parties…

Irrational or not, whether I would wake when my fire alarm went off is a real worry to me. At Christmas I was reassured that I can actually hear the block’s fire alarm a little bit, when the girl downstairs set fire to her kitchen.

All of a sudden I was aware of an alien sound in my head and I ran around the flat frantically looking for the source of my discomfort and hoping I wouldn’t find flames licking at the front door. I didn’t – but I did find more smoke than an 80’s disco.

But then, when I was in Barcelona with Miss K the other week, some over-amorous Italians began banging on our door one night, presumably to invite us for a nightcap. I slept through the first series of knocks until Miss K woke me up for some advice on what to do about them.

We sat in bed, listening to the knocks, looking around for something heavy to smack them on the head with, but eventually they gave up – leaving flowers outside our door.

But what worried me most was, I didn’t hear the initial banging…

When I was at university, living in halls, I made the caretakers promise they would come and rescue me if the building was burning down – but in my flat, I don’t have anyone to ask – except New Housemate and he’s not always there.

I don’t really understand all the jargon surrounding deaf equipment – it seems to me it’s a bit more complicated that sticking something to the ceiling and pressing a red button to check it every month.

What’s more, this flat isn’t mine – I can’t afford to install a system that won’t come out again. Can I get one that’s compatible with the one installed by my agency? And can you get deaf fire alarms that only cost £10 like you can for hearing people or must I save up?

I mean, I know there’s no price on life – but I object to having for fork out more for a fire alarm just because my ears are broken…

And other thing – if this vibrates too, how long will it take me, in the event of a fire to try answering my phone, turning off my alarm clock and going through all my other vibrating things before I realise that…


The building is on fire!!!!!

So, I’m off shopping – and I may pick the brains of Chris – one of my readers who’s been kind enough to offer me technology advice in the past…



Cazz said...

You can get free fire alarms from your local council if you're deaf. I think that your local fire station would also come and assess your flat for free and give you fire safety advice/a suitable alarm.

Me said...

Really!?!? That's great news – and a fantastic excuse to visit my local fire station, too! :-D Do I have to be registered disabled do you know?
Thanks Caz

Cazz said...

I think it depends on your local fire brigade - but I do know there's been a campaign linked to the amount of deaf people who don't have appropriate fire alarms. Contact them and ask.

As for the council, yes, you will end up being registered as disabled if you apply!

Big Bro said...

Get a Budgie. If he is still sat on his perch, then you know you don't have anything to worry about.

You could probably rig up something on the floor of the cage that set off an alarm if the bird hit it too.

Result = Constant visual OK, and an alarm when it isn't!

*goes off to look into the marketing possibilities*

Anonymous said...

Big brothers idea sounds great. Great great Scottish Aunt who made great teas had two and when she set her pan on fire they both fell off their perches and died!!!!! we bought 2 new ones and moved her to sheltered accomodation! Perhaps a bit early for that. Fire brigade idea sounds great. Give it a go.

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