Deaf Action (New Zealand) have just launched a petition calling on government to make visual fire alarms mandatory in public buildings.
The petition was triggered by the experience of one of their members, Auckland University student Dean Buckley, who was left behind in a recent fire drill "Dean's experience was scary for him. Sadly it is not unusual, many other Deaf have had similar experiences to Dean" said Kim Robinson, Chairperson of Deaf Action.
" Members of our group have told me about being left behind in buildings during fire drills , including while on toilets and during bomb scares "In the panic of a fire alarm, all too often Deaf find that they have been forgotten by friends, family or colleagues. "
"This is an unacceptable state of affairs" said Mr Robinso "It's time all public buildings were required to have modern fire safety standards for all users, including Deaf "There's no reason today for building owners not to have Visual Fire Alarms with today's technology".
Green MP Mojo Mathers who is also deaf will be receiving the petition from Deaf Action at parliament in November "I am fully supportive of this petition" said Ms Mathers.
"I have experienced first-hand how unnerving it is to be made aware from others that a fire or smoke alarm is going off and to realise that if they hadn’t done so, I would not have known "I now have a visual fire alarm in my office which is great. But visual fire alarms should be the norm in all public buildings" said Ms Mathers.