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Swift alert for deaf and hard of hearing pupils in an emergency

“Having that instant notification is invaluable. The care staff are reassured as I can get there quickly to help with any evacuations. ”

Mary Hare

Mary Hare School is a residential school for pupils that are deaf or hard of hearing. Based in Newbury, Berkshire, it is the largest
non­-maintained special school in the UK.

The school believes all deaf children should receive the education and support to enable them to reach their full potential.

The problem

As the pupils are deaf or hard of hearing, the school looked for a solution to help make fire safety notification easy and efficient. With 240 pupils the school required a product which would give significant security in case of a fire. Reassurance was needed that both pupils and staff would be alerted.

The solution

“We’re a deaf school and provide an inclusive environment for pupils,” said Andrew Haslock, Estates Manager at Mary Hare. Andrew found Digital Messaging Service (DMS), a fire alarm warning system which alerts deaf and hard of hearing people when the fire
alarm sounds.

Andrew found DMS to be ideal for the school’s requirements, particularly as it doesn’t rely on other types of equipment such as pagers. “The reason I had DMS installed was to give an extra means of notification for pupils and staff when the fire alarm is activated.”

“The children always have their mobiles on them and as they can’t hear the alarm if it goes off, it’s very useful for them to get a text from their own phone if there is an emergency.”

The outcome

  • More independence, reassurance and freedom for pupils as they can use their own mobile phones
  • Instant notification for staff in an emergency
  • Reliable, efficient and quick system that benefits the whole school and keeps people safe.

Andrew said: “There are plenty of benefits to DMS, including the speed with which we can get everyone alerted. We are a big site so having the means to communicate quickly is key. I live about 200 yards away and I can’t see the buildings from my house, so for me it has also been very useful.”

“Having that instant notification is invaluable. The care staff are reassured as I can get there quickly to help with any evacuations. DMS is not reliant on any human aspect and notifies everyone at the same time. It’s very good, very much worth the money and has benefited our school hugely.”

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