Accidental and deliberate fires in UK hotels increased by a fifth last year.
Despite this, a recent report by IFSEC Global found that some hotels are still not using fire alarm systems suitable for Deaf people.
In its article IFSEC Global reported on the “contingency” hotel crisis, noting the requirements to ensure that vulnerable hotel residents can be alerted in the event of a fire.
At Alerter Group we provide fire alarm systems for Deaf people, people who are hard of hearing, and wireless Emergency Voice Communication systems (ECVs) for people with other physical disabilities.
Unsurprisingly, then, our attention was drawn to a section in the middle of the article, which described how a deaf hotel guest was woken manually by a hotel employee in the middle of the night – rather than by an appropriate and compliant deaf fire alarm system.
The reporter also interviewed a teacher with hearing loss; this interviewee explained that she regularly takes her own sound-activated fire alarm device with her on her travels, to ensure her safety should the fire alarm go off in a hotel while she’s staying there.
There are many Deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK – 1 in 6 people, in fact. These people are more likely to not hear a fire alarm warning or any other evacuation-related message during the day. The risk increases further at night as hard of hearing people may remove their hearing aids to sleep.
Hotel guests should not have to rely on non-compliant systems or go above and beyond at their own cost to protect themselves. The responsibility for evaluating and minimising safety risks rests with the responsible person for a building. Every person within that building must be provided with an equal opportunity for egress. Furthermore, safety systems must be compliant with the relevant standards.
Systems such as our Deaf Alerter system can be retrofitted in buildings, helping meet requirements regarding the safety of Deaf people in emergency situations and complying to BS5839-1.
At Alerter Group we provide solutions suitable for day and night-time. Our Deaf Alerter transmitter with its Night Cradle and vibrating pillow pad suits retrofit, and the Night Cradle is fully mobile… meaning it can be used in any room in the building (rather than requiring individual rooms to be specifically modified for Deaf guests).