Special smoke alarms installed for deaf and hearing impaired

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COLORADO SPRINGS — The American Red Cross of Colorado is working with the Colorado School for The Deaf and Blind by installing 100 special alarms, specifically for families with members who are hearing impaired.

On Monday, the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado, along with Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind installed free bed shaker smoke alarms during a Sound the Alarm event in Colorado Springs.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing are particularly vulnerable during fire emergencies because they may not be able to hear the sound of a traditional smoke alarm.

“Home fires are the biggest disaster threat we face, killing seven people in this country every day,” said Executive Director of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Red Cross Thomas Gonzalez. “Here in Colorado Springs, we respond to hundreds of home fires each year.”

Darrell Shuler and his children, who are deaf, were among the 100 to receive these specialized alarms installed in their homes.

“For our community, it’s unique… as soon as I found out about this program, I signed up immediately,” Shuler said.

The specialized alarm, commonly referred to as a ‘Bed Shaker,’ is installed next to the bed, and alerts those in the home using a strobe light and vibrating pad that can be placed under the mattress or pillow. It’s activated when an accompanying traditional smoke alarm sounds.

So many people responded to Monday’s offer, they hope to have another installation at a later date. Look for that on their website and the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind’s Facebook page.

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