A PARTIALLY deaf woman’s “life was saved” by a specialist smoke alarm which “undoubtedly avoided disaster” at her home.

The woman, who lives in Rochford, had a special sensory smoke alarm fitted in her home after her daughter contacted the fire service worried she would be unable to hear a standard smoke alarm if a fire broke out in her home.

The sensory fire alarm vibrates and flashes when smoke is detected.

Just weeks after it was installed, the woman was woken by the vibrations the alarm was making when her kitchen filled with smoke after she accidentally fell asleep after putting a wheat bag in the microwave.

Marion Buffett, the fire service’s community agent, said: “The woman’s daughter contacted me and said, ‘your smoke alarms probably saved her life this week’.

“She woke up to the smoke alarm and stopped it just in time.

“Her daughter is convinced that if the sensory smoke alarms had not been put in, it would be a different story.”

The woman was referred to Mrs Buffett following concerns she would not be able to hear a regular smoke alarm as she is hard of hearing.

Family members were not confident she would be able to hear her existing standard smoke alarms.

Essex Fire Service’s “live safe” manager, Claire Monk, said: “Incidents like this show just how important it is that every home has working smoke alarms which meet the needs of the residents.

“Essex has one of the highest numbers of sensory impaired communities across the country and it’s important that we recognise that standard smoke alarms might not be suitable for everyone.

“For people with reduced hearing ability, it would be harder for them to be alerted by just an audible smoke alarm on its own.

“A sensory smoke alarm is fitted to the ceiling in the same way as a regular smoke alarm but is also wirelessly linked to additional devices which use high-intensity flashing strobe light and/or vibrate to alert the resident.”

Essex Fire Service provides and fits specialist sensory alarms, free of charge, for anyone with a sensory impairment living in Essex. Book a home safety visit or refer someone else for a home safety visit online: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book