An innovative safety product that lets hearing impaired people know the fire alarm is sounding has been introduced at Doncaster Deaf Trust thanks to a donation from a community fund.
The Trust has purchased a number of Deafgard vibrating pillow pads and flashing light signals to work alongside and enhance its existing fire alarm system, after receiving £8,000 from the Safer Stronger Communities Reserve Fund, run by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (SYFRA).
Voluntary organisations, charities and community groups from across South Yorkshire applied for funding, which was set aside from the Authority’s reserves to support projects which reduce injuries and make the lives of the most vulnerable people in society safer.
Wesley Fletcher, Health & Safety / Training Officer at the Trust, said: “We became aware of the Safer Stronger Communities Reserve Fund after one of our Trustees, John Hope, informed us about it and are very pleased with our successful bid.
“Deafgard is a standalone, wire-free bedside unit incorporating a high intensity strobe light and a connected vibrator pad placed under the pillow to wake the hearing impaired sleeper.
“The Deafgard products will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of responding to fire alarms, as well as increase the independence and awareness of hearing impaired students and staff.
“The Trust has worked with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue a lot in the past and will continue to do so in order to provide safety advice to students and conduct on-site inspections of all its buildings.”
Station Manager Steve Wood said: “Our relationship with the Deaf Trust is long standing, and this funding award reaffirms our position of supporting projects which help to protect vulnerable people in our communities.
“Working smoke alarms give you vital extra moments to escape in the event of a fire, and these specialist alarms will give added reassurance to the Trust’s clients, for whom traditional smoke alarms are unsuitable.”
Doncaster Deaf Trust includes the Little Learners Day Nursery, Doncaster School for the Deaf and the Communications Specialist College Doncaster. A registered charity, the Trust is this year celebrating its 185th anniversary.