Monday, 24 September 2012
FIRE ! FIRE !!
Deaf MP unaware of fire alarm (Maybe they assumed as she could lip-read she can hear fire alarms too). Got your work cut out Gal !
It is Deaf Awareness Week and Ms Mathers says changes in building compliances could result in fewer property developers and owners installing visual fire alarms for the hearing-impaired. Under new regulations that came into effect in April, developers and owners now "opt in" to installing visual alarm systems rather than "opt out" if people with disabilities will not be working in the building.
Ms Mathers says she was only aware of the changes when a concerned fire service employee contacted her. The change in emphasis was a change backwards, she said. "The risk is that many buildings will not be compliant in providing appropriate alarms for hearing loss." Health and safety was already a major barrier to employment for deaf people because prospective employers sited additional costs for hiring the hearing impaired. It was cheaper for visual systems to be installed when standard fire alarms were put in rather than retro-fitting.
Ms Mathers said she was also disappointed the final changes did not include a proposal to require visual alarms if hearing-impaired people used a building.