Hearing Loss Safety: How to Respond to Emergency Signals with Hearing Loss

Jul 31, 2009 by

One of the challenges that you have to overcome with hearing loss is how to respond to emergency signals such as fire alarms, police sirens, and security systems.

At Work

Your employer has a few options for making fire alarms more accessible for you. They can install a “Fire Alarm Notification Appliance”, which usually incorporates strobe lighting into the traditional auditory signal. Companies that manufacture such devices make the strobe happen in such a way that it does not affect epileptics. There may be tax credits available to your employer or their building superintendent for switching over to such a system.

Buddy System

Enlist a few “buddies” at work that will let you know if there is an emergency. If you work at a larger company, make sure that your buddy system is formalized in an emergency response plan that is circulated to everyone at the company.

At Home

The key component that developers of emergency signal devices for deaf people is how to wake them up in case of emergency. Many such devices use a combination of lights and vibration to awaken a sleeping adult in enough time to get them out of harm’s way. If you have been living with hearing loss for some time already, you may already be familiar with alarm devices manufactured for those with hearing loss that vibrate. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with ways to awaken those with hearing loss more quickly. Contact your local Doctor of Audiology for more information about you hearing loss. Hear Florida Audiology Group is available to provide hearing services throughout South Florida with convenient locations in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, and Miami

Police And Ambulance Sirens

Police and ambulance sirens are a bit trickier. The only way to really be sure that you can see them is to check your rear view and side mirrors as often as possible, especially when driving on busy streets and highways. If you travel often with a person that is not hearing impaired, come up with a touch signal, three rapid taps on your shoulder, for example, that means “police or ambulance behind you”.

In the end, you have to be responsible for your own safety, so rely the most on measures that put you in control rather than relying on other people.