Welcome Gate launches fire safety product for the hard of hearing

Fire alarms save lives. But people who are deaf or hard of hearing can’t rely on the sound of a regular alarm to alert them to a fire.

Enter FIRE SMS, a new fire safety system for deaf or hard-of-hearing people, which helps employers and service providers manage emergency situations more safely and efficiently. This simple, easy-to-install, easy-to-use system informs those suffering from hearing loss or profound deafness when an alarm is sounding by sending a text message to their mobile phones. It’s ideal for public areas such as hotels, offices, supermarkets, shopping centres, libraries, sports centres and schools.

“We want to offer Property Managers a flexible solution for them to comply with the Equality Act no matter when people come and go in their buildings.” says Martin Andrews, Fire Operations Manager at Welcome Gate. “We want people who are hearing impaired to feel safe knowing that they will get a notification on their own phones of any alerts, and that they are in control. It’s a perfect long-term solution, without the need to keep replacing pagers, or forgetting to charge pagers.”

Freedom and peace of mind

FIRE SMS gives deaf or hard-of-hearing people the freedom to move around your building without the worry of missing an emergency alarm. Apart from a mobile phone, there’s nothing else they need to have on them.

The system is a great solution for visitors, customers and contractors who are unfamiliar with your building, and it’s so simple that they can use it discreetly, without having to ask anyone for assistance. In addition, FIRE SMS enables you to comply more ably with the Equalities Act 2010.

Fire SMS comes with a night-time base unit which flashes in the event of a fire and a vibrating pillow pad which is connected to the base unit. When the Fire Alarm goes off a text is automatically sent to the mobile phone resting in the base unit, which in turn activates and flashes the base unit and vibrating pillow pad to alert the user the fire alarm is sounding, and they should exit the building.

It can also be used for anyone in your emergency response team. If they’re in or out of the building, as long as they’re logged onto the system they will receive a text and will be able to respond to the incident.

A step up from (and cheaper than) the pager system

Many buildings still use old pager systems to alert those hard of hearing to an emergency. But pagers have to be physically issued to users and are around £300 each. They also need to be individually managed and maintained.

FIRE SMS works on the devices users already own. Any mobile phone with text facilities is compatible with FIRE SMS. This makes it far cheaper and easier to roll out and run.

Absolutely no fuss — for you as a service provider and your users

The FIRE SMS system consists of a tamper-proof control unit that can be installed in under an hour. If your site has multiple fire alarm panels on the same network, the control unit only needs to be connected to one of them.

To further reduce hassle for employers or service providers, the system comes with an automated testing feature. On a weekly basis, the unit will test itself without alerting users at that location.  

There’s a one-off fee for the unit and the installation, you’ll have a pay-as-you-go monthly fee like any other SIM card and everything else will be covered by Welcome Gate’s annual maintenance plan. This plan includes:

  • automated remote maintenance and support
  • firmware upgrades
  • SIM card maintenance

FIRE SMS is super-easy for users to get set up on. Signage will be erected in the building to inform them about FIRE SMS and give them a number to text. All they have to do is text the number and they’ll be added to the system at that location instantly.

Specially selected by KTP

FIRE SMS is manufactured by fire safety specialists KTP, who have selected Welcome Gate to become one of their main distributors in London and the South East. We’re incredibly proud to be working with them and to have added such an important, life-critical product to the Welcome Gate portfolio.

To know more about how FIRE SMS can improve your safety credentials, cost efficiency and compliance with equality law, call us on 020 7620 6288 or email [email protected].