East Orange Fire Department hands out free smoke detectors for visually and hearing-impaired

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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Smoke detector program for visually and hearing-impaired NJ residents
The East Orange Fire Department is launching a free smoke detector program for visually and hearing-impaired residents. Anthony Johnson has the story.

EAST ORANGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- The East Orange Fire Department is launching a free smoke detector program for visually and hearing-impaired residents.

The program is in honor of Fire Prevention Awareness Month.

The specialized alarms are installed next to the bed and alert people in the home by using a strobe light and a vibrating pad that is placed under the mattress or pillow. They're commonly referred to as a "bed shaker."

When a traditional smoke alarm sounds it triggers the special alarm.

"It is so imperative that we ensure all of our citizens have the tools they need in case of fire emergencies that may occur at home," said Mayor Ted R. Green. "Our East Orange Fire Department firefighters do an excellent job raising community awareness of fire safety and prevention, and these alarms are an extension of EOFD's ongoing efforts to keep our city safe."

The department is also launching a door-to-door campaign where firefighters will provide and install the smoke detection system.

"In the event of a fire, every second counts, but those who are visually and hearing impaired cannot depend on the sound of the regular alarm to alert them to a fire," said Interim East Orange Fire Chief Bruce Davis. "The alarms we are distributing have a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person. These specialized alarms may be the deciding factor between life and death for our most vulnerable citizens."

The East Orange Fire Department also released a list of fire safety tips including:

- Install alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in each sleeping area.

- Sleep with your door closed.

- Test each alarm every month, following the manufacturer's directions, and replace batteries once a year, or whenever an alarm "chirps" to signal a low battery.

- Newer units with the 10-year long-life batteries, should also be tested monthly.

- Never "borrow" a smoke alarm battery for another use - a disabled alarm can't save your life. Replace alarms that are more than 10 years old.

If you or someone you know needs a special alarm, you can call the East Orange Fire Department's Community Outreach Division at 973-266-5520.

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