Alarms, whether activated by heat, smoke, toxic fumes, or a break-in into a home, warn of imminent danger by sound. Public address systems do the same in public places like airports. In the midst of an emergency situation, imagine just how critical alarms, warnings and instructions shouted by emergency personnel are to survivors and evacuees!
Now imagine what it's like during an emergency for someone who can't hear these warning signals. On average, you have 2 minutes to escape a building once you hear a fire alarm, but if you can't hear it, you may have no time at all. That's 25% of Canadian adults who would not have the proper access to information in emergency situations.
Visual fire alarms and emergency notification systems are essential to the safety of culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing Canadians. These systems, however, must be hardwired at considerable additional expense. Current laws do not address who is responsible for the costs or installation of these crucial visual alarm systems. Even worse, they are not required by law in homes, leaving hard of hearing Canadians in the dark during the times when they need help the most.
Accessible emergency notification is an issue quite simply of life and death. Show your support for expanding access to visual emergency alarms and systems. It's inequitable that culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing Canadians have to pay the additional cost for life-saving alarms.
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