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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 13:09 GMT
Free smoke alarms for deaf people
RNID smoke alarm
The alarm has a vibrating pad for under a pillow
A smoke alarm to alert deaf and hard of hearing people to fire are to be fitted free by Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

The alarms have a flashing light, a sound alert and a vibrating pad to go under a pillow or mattress to shake a person awake when smoke is detected.

Suffolk is one of the first to supply free alarms specifically designed for the deaf, said the Royal National Institute for Deaf people (RNID).

Mark Downs of the RNID said they were delighted Suffolk was leading the way.

In a recent survey by the RNID, a third of people with a hearing loss said they would have difficulty waking up to a conventional smoke alarm, especially as hearing aids were taken out at night.

Almost a quarter said they would struggle to know if the alarm went off during the day.

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