Audio-frequency induction loops are an essential facility of any public space. And often a regulation of public buildings.
They provide those with hearing difficulties vital access to spaces and environments that hearing people take for granted. They are also vital to provide greater safety in the event of a fire and evacuation.
As the technology improves, it is becoming easier for people with hearing difficulties to enjoy the same level of access as everybody else. However, those hard of hearing are still restricted from accessing things many of us would not even stop to think about in our day-to-day lives. Fire safety is one of them.
Fire safety has come a long way in the last few decades, thanks to improved public awareness and advances in heat and smoke detection technology. However, much conventional fire safety is still heavily audio-centric. In most normal buildings, we rely almost solely on alarms to alert us of any fire danger – something that many people with hearing loss are unable to hear, even with hearing aids.
Fire and evacuation regulations and routines now exist that cater more adequately for those with hearing impairments and other disabilities.
For these routines and escape plans to function properly, though, hard-of-hearing people still rely as heavily on automated alarm systems to initiate these routines as hearing people do. It’s for this reason that since 1995, it is the law that public buildings must carry an induction loop in order to keep hearing-impaired people safe. The way they work is by generating an electromagnetic ‘loop’, or field, wherein sounds are converted to a specific signal. For those within the field tuned into the induction loop, the user’s hearing aid converts the signal back into a sound that the person can adequately hear. In the case of fire safety, alarms can be connected directly to the induction loop.
Silver Group believe it is important to take everybody’s needs into account when creating a fire safety system. By investing in an induction loop system, you are not only bringing your property and facilities in line with public regulations, but you are also making sure that every occupant is safe.
• One in six people have hearing loss
• 6.3 million are of retirement age
• Two million use listening technology
• Estimates find that by 2031 there will be 14.5 million people with hearing loss in the UK
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