Portland distributes smoke alarms for hearing impaired

The city has about 60 special fire alarms left to distribute, free of charge

Portland is distributing smoke alarms for the hearing impaired. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the 29,000 people in Multnomah County with some form of hearing loss, relying on the traditional beeping of a fire alarm to alert them to a fire is not enough.

That’s why Portland Fire & Rescue launched a program called Flash Shake Wake with help from a federal grant and have distributed 250 special fire alarms with a high frequency that’s easier to hear.

The alarm also has strobe lights and pairs with bed shakers placed under the mattress to wake a sleeping person.

“Once the smoke alarm goes off in your home, it vibrates and sends a signal,” PF&R spokeswoman Kim Kosmas tells KOIN 6 News.

The grant has run out but PF&R has 60 of the special smoke alarms to give away. Click here if you are interested in receiving one.

“A lot of fires we find don’t have smoke alarms or if they do they’re not working, and that’s when bad things happen,” Kosmas says.