DEAF smoke alarms and SMS emergency texting were on the agenda
when members of Leigh Deaf Club were paid a visit by Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).
Community Safety Advisor Flora Hardman dropped in to deliver a
presentation and fire safety advice to 25 members of the club on
the evening of Thursday, November 28.
Flora said: "I was invited down to chat to the club about
general fire safety, escape plans, home safety checks and details
of how to dial 999 by SMS emergency.
"The session proved really popular and over ran by a couple of
hours because we had to allow time for sign language translation
and the club members had a lot of questions.
"I was able to explain about deaf alarms and The National
Emergency SMS Service (ESMS) and many of the members signed
up for the service while I was there and we booked in six Home
Safety Checks where we will visit them at home, fit a smoke alarm
and give specialised advice tailored to their home
If you have a hearing difficulty you can get a smoke alarm which
uses a strobe light and vibrating pads. Alternatively consider
linking the alarm system, which can alert you of any danger.
Flora explained: "Some of the members of the club are deaf or
profoundly deaf and only communicate using the sign language.
"They expressed the need for a confidence building talk to
encourage them to sign up to the 999 SMS service and I was only too
"I explained that it's for use anywhere in the UK in real
emergencies if lives are at risk and that it's for people who can't
make a voice call and that it's faster than text relay 18000.
"I stressed that's important to remember the three W's, which
service they need, fire, police or ambulance, where the emergency
is, with as full an address as possible and what the emergency
The National Emergency SMS Service is a national scheme that
allows anyone unable to use voice telephony, to send a text to 999
using their mobile phones, which gets converted into a call to the
As of Bonfire Night 2012, more than 37,000 people are registered
to the Emergency SMS Service (ESMS).
For more information about ESMS and how to register follow this
link to www.emergencysms.org.uk
Text Relay is a service provided by BT that enables deaf,
deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people who use
textphones to make and receive calls to and from hearing
A textphone or TalkByText user can contact the emergency
services by dialling 18000.
This call will be connected to the 999 services and translated
by a Text Relay Assistant. For more information on textphones and
the text relay service go to http://www.textrelay.org
For more advice and tips go to: