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Moving away from home

Photo: There are lots of types of technology that can help you live independently.

Whether you're going away to university, moving to a new city for work or just want your own place, moving out of your parents' home for the first time is a big step. As a deaf young person, there are a few things you'll need to think about to make sure you're safe and comfortable in your new home. 

Use the buttons below to find out about different services and adaptations that might help you to live independently.

Before you move into any new home, it’s really important to make sure you’ll be alerted in the event of a fire. In some areas, your local fire department or local authority will provide and install flashing and vibrating smoke detectors free of charge. You can also get them online, from shops like Connevans or from charities. Remember to test the alarm with your hearing technology off and eyes closed, and check it’s working regularly.

If you’re moving into university halls, ask your accommodation provider to install a flashing and vibrating fire alarm before you move in.

EmergencySMS is a service which lets you contact 999 by text instead of by calling on the phone. They’ll give your message to the police, ambulance, fire service or coastguard.

You will need to register your mobile phone before you can use emergencySMS. To register your phone:

  1. Text “REGISTER” to 999.
  2. You will get a text message back.
  3. Read the message and make sure you understand it.
  4. Reply “YES” to 999.
  5. You will get a text to confirm that you’re registered.

Once you’re registered with emergencySMS, never text 999 unless it’s an emergency.

If you’re in an emergency, text 999 to tell them what service you need, what the emergency is and your address. For example:

“Ambulance. Man having a heart attack. Outside post office. Valley road Watford.”

Visit emergencySMS to find out more.

If you’re moving away from home for the first time, you might need more technology than you did when you lived with your family. As well as a flashing fire alarm, you might also want to try other equipment like a flashing doorbell, a vibrating alarm clock or an adapted baby alarm to let you know when your baby’s crying. Your local authority or deaf service might loan these free of charge, so contact them to find out what’s available in your area. Alternatively, you can borrow technology using our Technology Test Drive to find out which products work for you before you buy one.

Living in a shared house or flat is usually cheaper than living on your own, and it can be really fun! Here are some tips to help you have a good relationship with your housemates.

  1. If you didn’t know your new housemates before you moved in, explain that you’re deaf as soon as possible. This will mean your housemates know to get your attention if there’s an emergency – and why you might not say hello first thing in the morning, before you’ve got your hearing technology in!
  2. Some of your everyday activities might make noises that you’re not aware of, such as using an electric toothbrush or running the washing machine. These activities might be disruptive to hearing housemates if you do them late at night. If there are some noises you don’t hear, ask your housemates to let you know if you’re making too much noise. This can help you avoid awkward situations or disagreements in the future.
  3. Even if you live with housemates, you still need to make sure you’ll be safe if you’re in the house by yourself. After all, your housemates might not always be around, or they might not remember that you’re deaf.