PITTSBURG — People who are deaf or hard of hearing have an opportunity to receive an alarm, which reacts to the sound of a standard smoke alarm with flashing lights and vibrations.
Pittsburg Fire Department Fire Marshal Thomas Vacca said the fire detector will work in conjunction with sight, sound and vibration.
“Deaf and hard of hearing alarms have a bright strobe light and a device attached to the bed that will shake when they are asleep at night,” he said.
The Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal provides this free device which is to be installed by the local fire department.
In order to receive the device the person must be a Kansas resident, be certified as deaf or hard-of-hearing by a healthcare professional — such as a physician, audiologist, advanced registered nurse practitioner, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, speech pathologist, or vocational rehabilitation counselor — and does not live in an institutional facility.
To apply for the detector go to firemarshal.ks.gov.
The Pittsburg Fire Department also has a local program for regular fire detectors, which was made possible through a grant. To qualify, one must be a Pittsburg resident and homeowner. According to the state fire marshal’s office, landlords are required to install smoke alarms. These residents are not qualified for the free detectors, Vacca said.
To inquire about these detectors call Fire Station #1 at 620-231-1870.
According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, non working or no fire alarms in the home cause approximately 70 percent of home fire deaths — homes with working smoke alarms lower this rate to 40 to 50 percent.
Vacca said in addition to making sure there are working smoke alarms in homes, he and the department encourages people to know where to go in an event of a fire.
“We would like people to practice fire escapes at home, plan two ways out of every room and designate a safe meeting place in front of their homes,” Vacca said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.