Deaf awareness

Resources, advice, and guidance for people who are deaf or have hearing loss

Advice for those with hearing loss

There are 10 to 11 million people in the UK who are deaf or hearing impairment, which is around 1 in 6 people.

This page features resources, advice and guidance for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, including educational videos in British Sign Language (BSL).

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We have worked with partners in Fife to create a British Sign Language advert for our latest fire safety campaign, Make the Call.

In partnership with the Scottish charity Deaf Connections, we produced a series of BSL videos of some of our key leaflets and adverts. Prevention & Protection colleagues in East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire (ENSA) have worked with local organisations, Ayrshire Film Company and The Third Sector Interface in North Ayrshire, to produce a new BSL video covering our Your Guide to Fire Safety booklet. 

Find out more about the UK Council on Deafness.

Smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing

A range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing. They have features ranging from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms.

These specialist alarms can save lives. They alert the user to a fire in the home, even if they have removed their hearing aid at night.

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.

How they work

A vibrating pad is placed under a mattress or pillow at night. The alarm sets off when smoke is detected. The pad vibrates and the strobe light flashes to assist in alerting the sleeper.

Where to get the alarms

There are local organisations, or arrangements with local authorities, to assist with providing specialist alarms. You can contact your local community fire station in the first instance to find out more.