How would you hear a hotel fire alarm in the night?
Rebecca Dunne shares an experience from her family’s holidays.
While staying in a hotel on holiday, I was woken in the middle of the night by my parents. They were next door and when the fire alarm sounded, only by chance had a key for my room as my hearing-device was switched off.
This false alarm alerted us to the danger if my parents hadn’t had a key to my room. So with that in mind, I investigated what should happen when a deaf person stays at a hotel where a fire alarm might not be heard.
Every deaf/hoh person should do the following during a hotel stay:
- Tell the hotel receptionist and make sure they take note of your details
- Request a portable alarm that is activated by the noise of the hotel fire alarm (these have a vibrating pad and possibly a flashing light)
- If you are staying with a group of people in different rooms, give a trusted person a key to your room in case of emergency
- And anything else you can think of that will help your safety
When checking in, the person needs to advise the receptionist they are deaf/hard of hearing as the staff will take note of this and (in most hotels) know to send someone up to you if the fire alarm goes off.
I have stayed in a hotel since the incident and when I told them about my deafness, they took note of it, but also gave me an alarm that lights up when the alarm goes off which was fantastic.
My parents and I never thought about what would happen in a fire. Many people including parents of deaf/hoh children or teens have not discussed the effect of not hearing a smoke or fire alarm in hotels or backpacker hostels. This is a vital life-lesson and every precaution should be taken.
(compiled by Rebecca Dunne)
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