Dolphin Shopping Centre introduces emergency pager system for deaf shoppers

The Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole has installed a new emergency pager/alerter system for deaf and hard of hearing shoppers.

It is one of three shopping centres across the UK to have the Deaf Alerter system installed to enable visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing to be made aware of a fire or other evacuation of the building. Deaf Alerter receivers can be collected from the Dolphin Shopping Centre’s management desk on the first floor, or people can use their own that are compatible. The device will vibrate and the screen will show a message displaying the urgent call to action, operated by the centre’s public address system, such as ‘Fire’ which cannot be cancelled by the user as it will only clear once they have left the building.

Across the UK, one in six people (11million) are reported to experience hearing loss and an estimated two million of these people would be unable to hear a fire alarm.

Stuart Mabbutt, operations director at the Dolphin Shopping Centre, said: “We are proud to be one of just three shopping centres in the UK that have introduced the Deaf Alerter system to enhance the safety of our visitors who may be deaf or hard of hearing. In an emergency, every second counts when it comes to evacuating a large number of people from the centre to ensure everyone is safe, so the Deaf Alerter will continue to support this for people who cannot hear the fire alarm.”

The Dolphin Shopping Centre is keen to promote accessibility for all shoppers across the centre including the management team undertaking Dementia Friends’ training, installing fully accessible Changing Places facilities, a dedicated customer service host who looks after customer welfare and providing the Shopmobility scheme for people who are less mobile.

Ian Lomas, Sales Director at Alerter Group plc, said: “It is great that Dolphin Shopping Centre have chosen to install Deaf Alerter, making their Centre more accessible for all. Our innovative system allows users to receive emergency communication wherever they are within the shopping centre, as well as being covered throughout the country in any of our hundreds of installed sites, thanks to our unique national roaming system”