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Alerting to fire in public places

Photo: Technology can help staying safe when out and about

If you are spend time in different places it is advisable to check whether they have a suitable fire alarm system fitted and assess how you or your deaf child will be alerted in case of a fire. When a fire starts the first few seconds can be crucial to ensuring that everyone escapes quickly and safely.

How technology can help alerting to a fire

There is technology available that can be installed in any public location that will alert you or your deaf child whenever a fire alarm is activated - either for real or a drill.

Deaf Alerter

Deaf Alerter is a radio-based system that has a transmitter which is directly connected to the building’s fire alarm panel. When the fire alarm is activated, the Deaf Alerter system sends a signal to a portable hand-held receiver, called an Alerter. The Alerter then vibrates, beeps and displays an emergency message on its screen. If you have an Alerter receiver then it can be used wherever Deaf Alerter is installed – this includes thousands of buildings across the country such as schools, colleges, workplaces and hotels.

To alert you at night there is a Deaf Alerter night cradle which has a pillow pad, which vibrates strongly, and a bright flashing light. It also has an option for a door knocking facility for room service or wake up calls.


Deafgard is a stand-alone, wireless fire alarm device which detects the sound of a building’s fire alarm system and alerts you with a strong vibrating pad and a bright flashing light. In a hotel it would typically be placed on your bedside table with the vibrating pad placed under your pillow.

All fire alarms in residential accommodation ( for example hotels and halls of residence) have to produce a minimum volume of sound at the user’s bed – it is this continuous level of sound that the Deafgard responds to.