Firefighters install smoke alarms for deaf, hearing-impaired

Dozens of Oahu families received an important life-saving tool this week.

The Honolulu Fire Department installed free smoke detectors in approximately 80 homes as part of the Smoke Alarms For Everyone program.

Many of the alarms were designed to alert family members who are deaf or hearing-impaired.

“The special element for these smoke alarms is there is a photo strobe that goes off, and it’s so bright and intense that it’s designed to wake up a person who cannot hear the audible alert itself,” explained Capt. David Jenkins with the Honolulu Fire Department.

“This program gives us security and peace of mind for my mother-in-law, because she lives by herself and she’s getting older, and she’s not as mobile as she used to be,” said homeowner Ray Oda.

Fire officials say properly installed working smoke alarms increase the chances of survival by 50 percent, and approximately 67 percent of fatal home fires on Oahu had no working smoke alarms.

Roughly 4,200 smoke alarms have been installed in more than 900 homes since the program’s inception in October 2008.

The American Red Cross (ARC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 1186 are key partners.

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