Free smoke detectors for hearing impaired offered

By MORGAN MANNS
STAFF WRITER
Fostoria Fire Division says free, customized smoke detectors are available for individuals who are hearing-impaired.
A Memorial Day house fire at 614 S. Poplar St. took the lives of a man and a woman, both reported to be hearing-impaired, and seriously injured another woman who was also hard of hearing. Interim Fire Chief Warren Digby said the division feels strongly about providing detectors to the local deaf community.
“These (smoke detectors) are specifically designed for individuals with hearing disabilities,” he said. “If installed, they should better alert those individuals to an emergency and hopefully help save their lives.”
The customized smoke detector is a combination of two units, according to Digby. One unit is similar to an average smoke detector, as it will hang from the ceiling and produce a beeping sound, although the beeping may not be heard. If the smoke detector begins beeping, another unit will use a strobe light to visually alert individuals in the residence of a possible fire. The second unit will also send vibrations to alert anyone who may not see the light.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has offered to provide and install these smoke detectors for free in the homes of local hearing-impaired residents, according to Digby.
“People usually don’t give it a thought unless they have a family member or someone close to them that has difficulty hearing,” he said. “It’s apparent that we have those individuals in this city and it’s important that we get the appropriate smoke detectors to those who need them.”
To sign up for the smoke detector, call the fire division at 419-435-3206 or visit the station at 233 W. South St. A name, address and contact information must be provided.
For more information, contact Digby at the fire station.

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