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NFRS working to keep deaf people safe during lockdown

12/11/2020

Deaf people will continue to receive vital fire safety visits from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service during lockdown, despite the current restrictions.

Most of the Service’s Safe and Well fire prevention visits to vulnerable people are currently being carried out by telephone.  This is, obviously, not possible for deaf people, so these visits will still be carried out in person, but with social distancing and other precautionary measures.

In addition, NFRS will continue to install special smoke alarms for deaf people and deal with any existing faulty ones.

The Service is also exploring the use of monitored smoke and heat detectors for deaf people and is rolling out a deaf awareness programme to its employees.

NFRS signed the British Deaf Association’s Charter for British Sign Language in 2018 and has been working since then to consult with deaf people, ensure equal access to information and services and increase the number of employees who can use British Sign Language.  There is a text messaging service for deaf people to use in both emergency and non-emergency situations.  More information for deaf people is available here.

Area Manager Damien West said: “We want to minimise the effect that the current restrictions during lockdown could have for people in our communities, especially those people who may be more vulnerable to a fire in their home.  We will continue, where necessary, to safely conduct home visits in person for those people who need it, ensuring we provide appropriate protection for homeowners and our staff to minimise any risks from COVID.  We continue to balance the importance of fire safety in the home against the risks presented to us during the current pandemic and I want to thank our staff and communities for their assistance with this.”

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