Air Raid Warning

When I was being assessed for a cochlear implant (see About This Blog) the lovely staff at the centre I attended referred me for a free smoke alarm for people with hearing loss.  With my hearing aids in I can hear the smoke alarms at home quite well (whenever I burn the toast) but without them there would be no chance.  So at night, on the rare occasions when my husband is away, I’m quite vulnerable.  Well, very vulnerable.  Nothing wakes me once I’m asleep with my hearing aids out.  A bomb going off might work, but only because of the vibration.

The process of referral was quite a long one, taking several months from start to finish.  The Cochlear Implant Centre referred me to the disabilities team at the Social Services Department, who visited to make their own assessment.  Then the Social Services people referred me to the Fire Brigade, who visited to make a fire risk assessment.  This was a general risk assessment of fire safety issues, not specifically hearing loss related.  After that, the very friendly and chatty fire officer who visited confirmed that he would order me the relevant piece of kit.  He returned, a few weeks later, and fitted what looks very like an ordinary smoke alarm but which has a receiver that stands on my bedside table, with a lead to a slim plastic box I would put under my pillow if I was sleeping on my own.  The receiver looks like this.  (It is a Silent Alert SignWave receiver). SAM_5436

Then he tested it.

WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP it bellowed, for all the world like an air raid siren on high alert.  Simultaneously a powerful light flashed on and off, like a lighthouse on strobe mode.  Whilst all this was happening the box under my pillow jumped up and down like a mad thing, possibly risking a fractured skull if I didn’t react to it quickly enough.  In real life, by this time, the whole village would be awake (which is reassuring, so long as they realised it was a fire and not an imminent invasion).  “Works, doesn’t it?” the fireman grinned “you wouldn’t sleep through that”.

I certainly wouldn’t, and am very reassured.





12 thoughts on “Air Raid Warning

  1. Dear Vera,

    Thank you for the mention.

    I love my job and part of it is being invited into people’s homes to give them advice. If they have their own smoke alarms then I will say whether I think it is appropriate, if they do not, then I will supply and fit one of our smoke alarms …FREE!

    If you have a hearing difficulty then as you know we can request the supply of the special deaf alarm or as you call it the ‘Air Raid Warning.’

    Peoples own good habits keep them safe, being mindful when cooking, switching electrical equipment off, having chimneys swept regularly, etc. ………… BUT……. sometimes we have moments, and it may only be one in a lifetime of being safe but for some reason we have done something ‘daft’…. THEN IF A FIRE STARTS YOUR SMOKE ALARM COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF YOUR LOVED ONES!

    I like to think I leave peoples houses with them feeling safer in their homes.

    Jeff (The Fireman)

    If you wish to request a Home Fire Safety Check phone 01609 788545 or online

    It’s nothing scary it’s just a chat and a bit of advice.

    Jeff Richardson, Community Safety Officer for Craven
    North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
    Skipton Fire Station
    01756 692560

    1. Hello Jeff the fireman
      Many thanks for this comment and thanks again for the alarm and advice. I feel much safer with my air raid device cum smoke alarm.

      1. Thanks Vera for letting me tweet your blog address this morning. It has been re-tweeted by many of the Community Safety Officers across the county so I hope you get a few new visitors to your blog

        SM Bob Hoskins

  2. This made me giggle. It reminded me of the time when we were locked out after a walk, and threw stones at your windows, bellowed, rang the bell and banged on the door, all to no avail. I am so pleased that they have found a solution!

    1. Hello Emily. Do you know, I had forgotten all about this. But Nigel remembered, and he has just been treating me to a blow by blow account of the events that day. He still remembers seeing me through the letterbox as I walked from shower to bedroom, and bellowing my name with his mouth to the gap, but all to no avail until I had finished blow drying my hair and put my hearing aids in. It all seems much funnier now than it no doubt felt to you at the time!

  3. The fire alarm sounds like my alarm clock…but looks more pleasing. It’s designed for the deaf but not with old fingers.
    I suspect that I wouldn’t hear my ordinary fire alarm with hearing aids out. Must try when the family are here, not to start a fire but to press the test button! I can’t reach it.

    1. Hello Jill. The smoke alarm is very easy to turn off; you just press firmly on the top of it. No faffing about with small switches or anything. Best wishes. Vera

  4. Thanks for this article. You have reminded me I have something similar that I disconnected quite a while ago. I need to get it working again! We’re also due a visit by the fire service soon so I’ll ask if there’s a more up to date version like this.

    1. Hello Lizzie. Thanks for your comments – the very first on my blog! The chap who came here from the Fire Brigade was really helpful so I hope you have the same happy experience. Vera.

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