Okla. Groups Provide Smoke Alarms to Hearing Impaired

July 12--STILLWATER, Okla. -- Help for the hearing impaired in the wake of fire danger is on its way to people of all ages in 24 counties, including Payne.

Several organizations are coming together to implement a smoke alarm project for people with documented hearing impairment.

The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation received a grant that will provide free installations of specialized smoke alarms and alert equipment.

OkAT partnered with ABLE Tech and Fire Protection Publications at Oklahoma State University to carry out the smoke alarm project.

A Stillwater resident who received the equipment said it was installed as recently as this week.

The equipment comes with a bed shaker, a low frequency bedside alert signal and, in some cases, a strobe light to alert individuals of a fire.

"A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire," Stillwater Fire Marshal Trent Hawkins said.

Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

"Oklahoma has more home fire deaths than most other states," said Nancy Trench, assistant director at Fire Protection Publications. "Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are especially at risk because they cannot hear standard smoke alarms."

However, smoke alarms and alert equipment have already improved the lives of individuals around the state by offering a higher level of home safety, according to an Oklahoma State University news release.

For more information, or to apply for free alarms and alert equipment contact Oklahoma ABLE Tech, 405-744-9748.



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