New Mexico Commission for Deaf & Hard of Hearing to Distribute Free Smoke Alarms
Albuquerque, New Mexico - The Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CDHH) announced that a new program will kick off on February 15th, 2012 and will provide free smoke alarms to qualified Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech Disabled New Mexicans.
"2011 was one of the worst fire seasons in New Mexico history. In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape." said Shannon Smith, Interim Executive Director.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, fires represent the fourth largest accidental killer in the United States behind motor vehicle accidents, falls, and drowning. Each year nearly 3,000 Americans die in a residential fire, which averages out to approximately eight deaths per day. Data show that the majority of victims are children and/or the elderly. While kitchen fires are the number one cause of residential fires, most residential fire fatalities start somewhere other than the kitchen. Additionally, the majority of residential fire fatalities occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. "People who are deaf (those with profound hearing loss) or hard of hearing (those with mild to severe hearing loss) can't rely on sound to alert them to smoke or fire. Because the majority of fatal fires occur when people are sleeping - and because smoke can put people into a deeper sleep - it is important to have the necessary early warning of a fire to ensure that they wake up. Thankfully, there are technologies that appeal to other senses. Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf which use strobe lights to wake the person. For those individuals that require an additional type of notification you can install vibration equipment - like pillow or bed shakers - which are also activated by a signal sent from these specialized smoke alarms.â€ said Andrew Bond, President of Teltex, Inc.
Individuals interested in applying for a free Smoke Alarm can either apply online or download an application from www.cdhh.state.nm.us/TEDP.aspx. To qualify for a free smoke alarm, individuals must be a New Mexico resident, have a documented hearing or speech disability and have a gross household income of less than $50,000 annually.
"Unfortunately, many homes in New Mexico, and in communities throughout the U.S., still do not have the appropriate level of smoke alarm protection. Research from the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows that roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms and about one in five smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries. That's why the Commission for Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Teltex, Inc and 911 Call Centers are teaming up to urge people to protect their homes and families with planning and life-saving technology -- like smoke alarms!" said Bill Range, E911 Program Director.
Teltex, Inc. began as a TTY repair facility in 1997 and quickly became a nationally recognized company for repairing and selling TTY's, Telephone Equipment and Notification Systems for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The company has evolved over the years becoming one of the top distributors of equipment for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and remains the only National Service Center in the country that can also services every item they carry. For more information, call 1.800.515.8210 or visit www.teltex.com.
The State of New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides effective leadership, education, advocacy and programs to reduce barriers to the social, economic, educational, cultural and intellectual well-being of Deaf and Hard of Hearing New Mexicans and their families, friends and colleagues. For more information, call 1.800.489.8536 or visit www.cdhh.state.nm.us.
- To learn more about the program, please click here
- To apply for a free smoke alarm, please click here
- To view the press release on the project, please click here